‘We want to be known as the long-term care home that rocks’

Country Terrace is launching a music program for younger residents interested in classic rock

Anyone who has been to a long-term care home knows that golden oldies from the 1930s and 1940s have long been the choice of music for residents who enjoy reminiscing about their youth. But there’s also increasing demand for Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.

Long-term care homes are seeing younger residents these days. While Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Hank Williams are still revered by many residents, younger residents want to, well, “rock out.”

Kimberley Noftle, the clinical care co-ordinator at Country Terrace in Komoka, Ont., knows this all too well. Kimberley, who is also the lead singer of the rock-blues band Juice, has a deep love for classic rock and can empathize with residents who would rather hear Bohemian Rhapsody than You Are My Sunshine.

“We are finding we’re getting more people into the home from my generation,” Kimberley says. “We have had people younger than me. At any given time we have six or seven younger residents. It’s frustrating for them” to not have access to their favourite music.

Last year, Kimberley was working with a younger resident who had skin lesions. The two started chatting about music, and he had a request: He wanted to hear some AC/DC.

“I had an MP3 player with the song Thunderstruck on there,” Kimberley recalls. “So I got my little iHome speaker and hooked my MP3 up to that, put it on his bedside table, and I’m treating his wounds and he’s playing air guitar to Thunderstruck. He loved it.”

With Kimberley’s encouragement, Country Terrace is launching a new program this week called Hard Rock Café. The program, which will be led by life enrichment aide Hayley Pond, will focus on playing classic rock albums and videos to encourage reminiscing and discussion.

The first segment of the program will feature a screening of Led Zeppelin’s 1976 concert-film The Song Remains the Same, which Kimberley will be supplying from her DVD collection.

Kimberley says she’s looking forward to seeing this program in action and is confident it will a positive impact on younger residents.

“We want to be known as the long-term care home that rocks,” she says.

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