Musical entertainment brings joy to Country Terrace
Hymns and sing-a-longs bring a relaxing and soothing atmosphere for residents with cognitive impairment
August 3, 2011
Life enrichment aide (LEA) Erin Edwards says residents at Country Terrace are pleased to be entertained by dedicated musical volunteers each Monday as part of the life enrichment program.
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She says all residents enjoy the musical programming, but individuals with cognitive impairment are especially soothed and relaxed through the communal songs.
She says some of the residents with Alzheimer's disease or dementia can become agitated, but the music programs calm them down.
"I've noticed through my own personal observations that individuals with cognitive impairment seem more relaxed during those programs," says Edwards.
"I find that they seem to think it's very soothing, so we have a hymn singing program, and also we have musical entertainers that come in, like DJs or musicians who play the piano or guitar."
She says the program is so well received by residents that she would like to see more social aspects added.
She says the residents enjoy the programming, and if there were an intermission with juice and snacks, and the volunteers could stay for a bit longer, it could have an even greater impact.
Activity director Veronica Kouto and life enrichment co-ordinator Sandra Howe set up the monthly schedules of activities, and the life enrichment aides run them.
"As life enrichment aides, we porter the residents to the program location, hand out the song books and help the volunteer facilitate the program," she says.
Because not all life enrichment aides are also trained musicians, the programs rely on the dedication of community volunteers to perform during the programs.
"We're not all musically inclined," says Edwards. "Having the volunteers' help is amazing."
"It's mainly the volunteer that facilitates the entire program, they play the music and interact with the residents and ask them to pick what songs they'd like to sing next," says Edwards.
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