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West Lake LEC underscores the positive impact music is having on residents

‘When we have music entertainers, that always gets everyone going, and music is something everyone enjoys’

Since in-house musical entertainment has returned to West Lake Terrace, life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) David Forsyth says residents have enjoyed getting back into the groove.

Music-based activities, he says, are programs everyone at the Prince Edward County long-term care home enjoys.

“When we have music entertainers, that always gets everyone going, and music is something everyone enjoys,” David tells The OMNIway.

With pandemic protocols relaxing, in-house entertainment has returned to West Lake Terrace this year and residents have been flocking to the performances the home hosts.

In fact, David has booked three entertainers for the coming month to meet the residents’ entertainment needs.

West Lake Terrace has a long-standing group of entertainers who have become well known to residents, but residents are also open to new entertainers, David notes.

Sometimes residents are the source of ideas.

For instance, a resident recently approached David to recommend a singer-guitarist who performed at the home a few years back, so David took the resident up on their offer.

“I called that gentleman and he has agreed to come in,” the LEC says.

Music has long been an important tool used to enhance quality of life for long-term care home residents. Music can be uplifting and bring back fond memories.

For those residents living with cognitive impairment, music can be relaxing and calm agitation.

David says he has seen first-hand the benefits music can provide residents. Right after an entertainer performs, a positive vibe will resonate at the home, he says.

“(Music) will just put people in a good mood.”

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Let’s dance: Burnbrae music program gets residents moving

The Music Appreciation program is providing residents with exercise, reminiscing and lots of fun and laughter

Since Burnbrae Gardens started a multifaceted music program six months ago, residents of the Campbellford, Ont. long-term care home have been benefiting from the joys music brings as well as from more exercise, increased happiness and lots of reminiscing.

The Music Appreciation program is the brainchild of life enrichment aide Shawna Booth, who started the program in September to provide residents with activities they enjoy while adhering to safety protocols in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Music brings a lot of joy into people’s lives, and I was thinking this was something that was lacking because of (the pandemic), so that was the main inspiration,” Shawna says.

The program, which Shawna hosts every Thursday, varies from week to week. Each week there’s a different musical theme, from golden oldies to country classics to jazz.

Residents gather in small, physically distanced groups while music is played. Often, Shawna leads residents in exercises they can do standing or sitting.

“Sometimes we do activities where residents can dance in their chair for exercise where there are movements to go along with the songs, (and) sometimes we will play songs that will get residents reminiscing,” Shawna says, adding residents recently enjoyed reminiscing about songs they remembered hearing at weddings and other events.

Shawna says she has also played relaxing music while leading residents in chair yoga exercises.

A major benefit Shawna says she has seen from the Music Appreciation program is increased participation. While some residents are not interested in games or bingo, virtually everyone loves music.

As a result, several residents who normally don’t participate in programs are attending this activity every week, she says.

But perhaps the greatest benefit Shawna is seeing from residents is an elevated mood accompanied by lots of laughter.

“That’s always good because laughter is the best medicine, and of course reminiscing is helpful with memory and cognition, and we do a lot of reminiscing,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

The Willows’ much-loved resident pianist is back behind the keys

“Mr. Roger”, Willows Estate’s in-house pianist, performs for residents for the first time since March.

‘Mr. Roger’ had not played piano for residents since the pandemic began, and his recent socially-distanced performance was a big hit for residents

For the first time since the global COVID-19 pandemic began, a Willows Estate resident who has long been the Aurora, Ont. long-term care home’s resident pianist is once again tapping his fingers across the keys. Read more

Study shows music and dancing enhances quality of life for people with dementia

Life enrichment departments in OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have a long history of promoting music and dance programs, and new research is showing that toe-tapping to tunes is more than just fun – it also plays an important role in enhancing quality of life for people living with dementia.

Many people enjoy music and dancing throughout their lives, and people living with cognitive impairment show improvement on specific quality indicators when exposed to music and dance, according to the research.

During a period of 10 weekly sessions involving 22 participants, researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand found that people with dementia experienced spikes in their sense of humour, imagination and intuition when played familiar music they could dance to after the sixth session.

The purpose of the study was to improve quality of life for people living with dementia using music and dancing to trigger memories and provide social engagement.

The findings, which were published in the July 2019 edition of the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias, “reversed the stereotypical understanding of this group of people being passive and immobile,” says lead researcher Ting Choo, in a statement on the University of Otago website.

“They responded to the music greatly and showed enthusiasm in moving to the music regardless of their physical limitation,” Choo says. “Positive responses such as memory recalling, spontaneous dancing and joking with each other were observed in every session.”

You can read more about this study by clicking here.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Choir bringing out singing talents in Village Green residents

Pictured above, Village Green’s choir during a performance at the home’s Oct. 26 launch party for the OLTCA’s Better Seniors’ Care letter-writing campaign.

Singing has been a self-esteem builder and made residents proud of their accomplishments

Village Green residents have formed a choir at the Selby, Ont. long-term care home, and many are finding hidden talents, says life enrichment co-ordinator Karen Coulter. Read more

Study: music therapy effective at reducing agitation in people with dementia

Researchers say receptive music therapy is a viable nonpharmacologic option to decreasing agitation and anxiety in people with dementia

A recent study conducted by scientists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong indicates that listening to music is more effective at curbing agitation and anxiety in people with dementia than interactive music therapy or no music therapy. Read more

‘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. Read more

New program drumming up excitement at West Lake Terrace

Ruth Dwight is seen here leading a drum circle at West Lake Terrace.

Biweekly drum circle engaging residents of all abilities

A biweekly drum circle program that was launched at West Lake Terrace in May continues to snowball in popularity with the Prince Edward County long-term care home’s residents, says life enrichment co-ordinator Janie Denard. Read more

The power of music brings Springdale residents together

‘Music is the heart of their soul; they just love the music and the entertainment’

When it comes to creating engaging programming for residents living with cognitive impairment at Springdale Country Manor, nothing piques people’s interest as much as music, says Sonia Murney. Read more

(VIDEO) Music and Memory program enhancing quality of life for Streamway Villa residents

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Click above image to watch video

Streamway Villa’s Music and Memory program has been an excellent tool to help the Cobourg long-term care home curb the administration of antipsychotic and antidepressant medications, as well as reducing sundowning and increasing socialization among residents with cognitive impairment. Read more