COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ State officials say nearly 300 Ohio nursing homes have signed up for a project that uses music to help improve the lives of residents and staff.

The Ohio Department of Aging says Music & MemorySM trains nursing home staff to create and provide personalized playlists on digital music players for residents.

Officials say the program helps those with dementia reconnect to the world through memories triggered by music that has meaning for them. Officials say it also can help reduce the use of medications, among other benefits.

Nursing homes may request assistance from Ohio’s Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to cover the costs of certification, startup equipment or both. The funding assistance comes from civil penalties paid by nursing homes with certain deficiencies.