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Personalized Music Programming to Increase Quality of Life for Seniors

on 03/15/2017 10:32 AM

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Don't be surprised to see smiling faces and individuals singing when you visit Harbor Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Lewes, Delaware. Residents at this local skilled nursing community are benefiting from new Music & Memory programming that allows individuals to enjoy their favorite music to encourage feelings of happiness and joy.

"Becoming a MUSIC & MEMORY Certified Care Organization has allowed us to share the powerful benefits of personalized music as part of our continuing effort to provide the highest quality of care. Music allows our residents to become more engage and less anxious, which results in increased life enjoyment," said Andrew Byrd, executive director at Harbor Healthcare & Rehabilitation.

Grounded in extensive research, Music & Memory helps people living with a broad range of cognitive and physical challenges to find renewed joy in life through musical favorites. The Harbor Healthcare & Rehabilitation team is trained to develop personalized playlists, but they are getting a hand from area teenagers. Cape Henlopen Honor Society students have partnered with Harbor Healthcare & Rehabilitation to download music to iPods and assist with implementing one-on-one engagement with residents. The Harbor team is excited to see young students reach out to our community.

"Music helps to reduce depression and anxiety and can improve quality of life for residents by tapping into deep memories. Participants are often happier, more social and receptive to care and family visits," remarked Sharon Ostasewski, memory care community activity director at Harbor Healthcare & Rehabilitation.

Memory & Music programs can help all seniors, but it is most beneficial for those with a variety of conditions including dementia or Alzheimer's disease; individuals who are bed-bound, on dialysis or ventilators; and seniors suffering from chronic pain or receiving hospice care.

Often, personalized music can help to reduce reliance on anti-psychotic, anti-depressant and pain medications. Anyone at Harbor Healthcare & Rehabilitation can benefit from the power of listening to their favorite music. As we build our program, we will be able to offer it to all who are interested.

You can help us expand the program through our iPod Donation Drive! Harbor Healthcare & Rehabilitation is collecting gently used or new iPods to reach as many seniors at our center as possible. iPods may be dropped off at the center at 301 Ocean View Boulevard in Lewes.

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