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Area Nursing Homes Use Music for Therapy
Posted on: 06/24/2013
By  Andy Rex
A new program in some area nursing homes is using the benefits of music to help in therapy.  It's being coordinated by the Area Agency on Aging in Marietta. 
“The idea behind it is there are lots of therapeutic benefits behind personalized music for people that might have dementia or Alzheimer’s or other conditions that may impair their memory," according to Agency spokesperson Gwynn Stewart.  "They’ve done some research and found that music that’s familiar to them can help stimulate their brain and help with their daily abilities to remember and have a better quality of life.”
She says this is part of a national program that has been tried successfully in other states, and the facilities in this region that have started the program are some of the first in the state to do so.  Stewart adds that this is an interactive program which needs help from the public to pull off.
“The program is designed so that the various nursing homes can coordinate with folks in the communities," Stewart explains.  "There is an opportunity for partnership if folks like music and, especially the younger generation who knows how to use iPods, wants to volunteer and come in and help the program get set up.  If people want to donate iPods or iTunes cards, that’s another opportunity for people to get involved as well.”
Eight nursing homes in the agency’s eight county service area have become certified in the program so far.  Stewart says if any other facility is interested in the program, they can begin the process of certification as well.
“They could do that through calling our office and talking with our ombudsman program," Stewart says.  "Part of this is through a statewide program that’s geared at person-centered care.  The ombudsman has been real engaged in trying to work with the nursing homes on finding ways to make the care that’s given at their facilities really focused on the individual.  Music is such a personal thing that each person could choose the music they’d like to listen to.”
For more information about the Music and Memory Program, you can call the Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-331-2644, or locally at 373-6400.
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