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Niagra Health

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The Extended Care Unit (ECU) at the Welland Hospital Site has implemented a music program called Music and Memory for the purpose of improving the quality of life of the senior residents. Senior residents living within long term care homes (LTCH) often display behaviours due to agitation, loneliness, confusion and a severe lack of meaningful stimulation. Research shows that the benefits of personalized therapeutic music can be profound on an individual and their quality of life. Specifically this project aims to reduce responsive behaviours for individuals with dementia and increase overall quality of life for residents living in the LTCH. As well, we are working on reducing the need for anti-psychotic medication in residents without a diagnosis, reduce depressive symptoms, and act as a preventer for falls, by allowing a resident to focus on music instead of trying getting out to bed.
The process of creating personalized playlists for the residents has shown to be a meaningful experience for both the staff/volunteer and participant. During creation of the playlist, a volunteer meets with the resident in order to get to know the individual and their past as a way to elicit their musical preferences. While discussing, the volunteer will begin to play parts of each song as a way to allow the resident to reminisce and discuss further about their past. Once a playlist has been created for the resident, it is documented on the ECU’s database and physical reminders are posted within the resident’s room to remind staff that an iPod has been created for this particular individual.

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