Riverview Manor receives iPods to enhance residents’ quality of life

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New program aims to decrease agitation and behaviours through individualized music playlists

Riverview Manor recently received three iPod shuffles to help enhance quality of life for residents affected by cognitive impairment.

The Rotary Club of Peterborough donated money to Peterborough’s Geriatric Health Services to buy iPods to be donated to the city’s long-term care homes, retirement communities and the Victoria Order of Nurses adult day program.

The iPods are to be used for music therapy programs called Music of Your Life.

Riverview Manor life enrichment aide Lyndsay Irwin attended a Jan. 28 meeting to learn more about the project and to receive the iPods.

The focus of the Music of Your Life program is to create individualized playlists for residents with cognitive impairment to help ease agitation and mitigate responsive behaviours.

Irwin’s goal is to have the project at Riverview Manor running by March 1. To prepare for the launch, she and her colleagues will be spending time speaking with residents and their families to discover people’s favourite types of music. The next step will be to find the songs, download them to the iPods and introduce them to residents.

The important thing will be to find music that sparks fond memories, such as people’s wedding songs, music that reminds them of their high school days or tunes they played for their children, Irwin says.

“Then you create all your playlists and have one-to-one conversations with residents to see how their reaction is to each playlist,” she explains. “Hopefully, we can get some really good responses from the residents.”

Riverview Manor already had one iPod before the donation. Irwin says the device has had a positive impact on residents.

“So far, there have been some good results,” she says. “Lots of residents have enjoyed the music and have requested it, so I am glad that we now have more iPods so we can reach more people.

“I’m hoping to reach each of the residents more on an individual level and to try to get to some of the residents that are sometimes harder to reach,” she says. “Some of the residents are from different cultures, so the music that we play might not reach them, so let’s try to develop an individual music therapy program for them.”

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