Resident interest in Country Terrace music program blossoms

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Java Music Club proving to be valuable engagement resource

Since Country Terrace became involved with the Java Music Club in May, resident participation in the program has blossomed to seven times its initial size.

At first there were nine residents involved with the Java Music Club, a researched-based mutual support activity program aimed at engaging people living in long-term care homes through music, photography and literature. Today, there are 63 residents involved in the program, more than half the Komoka long-term care home’s population.

Life enrichment co-ordinator Christie Patterson attributes this surge in participation to the activation department creating separate interest groups for residents to join.

There are groups designed for couples, men and women.

“We just find that they will comment and talk a little more if they have a focus and a common ground,” Patterson says.

The program centres on playing tunes residents enjoy and then encouraging them to engage in discussions about the music. Residents will choose a theme for each session and music related to the theme will be played. Photographs are included with each musical theme and discussions related to the music and photographs are hosted afterwards.

“The residents can talk about the songs and what they meant to them; what they liked, what they didn’t like, so (the program) is great that way,” Patterson says.

The first time Patterson led the program was for a women’s group, the theme was focused on celebrations. After the music was played, residents reflected on fond memories of birthdays and anniversaries.

“It was almost like therapy for them,” Patterson says.

Activation department staff members have received Java Music Club training, and the program is available to residents of all cognitive abilities.

Country Terrace has put funding from the Behavioural Supports Ontario program towards joining the Java Music Club and training staff members.

BSO is a $40-million initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation. The funding, which is provided to long-term care homes through Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks, is largely put towards staff education.

– More to come

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