Visitors to Poet’s Walk Memory Care Communities can often see residents singing, clapping and even dancing to the sounds of music reverberating through the halls. This is usually thanks to the Poet’s Walk Music Therapy program. Music therapy has been proven in the medical and science communities to immensely improve the holistic health of seniors and memory care residents. It is for this reason that Music Therapy is a major part of the company’s Signature Touches.
“When the music gets going everyone wants to be involved, whether they’re up and moving or contributing from their seat,” said Sandy Harris, Director of Resident Engagement at Poet’s Walk Cedar Park. “It’s important to look at research and learn about the effectiveness of music therapy, but to personally see the joy it brings to each resident’s face, then you truly understand it.”
The effects of music therapy can reduce stress and improve a senior’s memory. Hearing a song from the past can help bring back special experiences with family and friends, which is especially helpful for seniors with dementia. “Different songs will resonate with different people,” said David Melton, Director of Resident Engagement at Poet’s Walk Round Rock. “At Poet’s Walk, we speak to family members to learn our residents’ favorite and most sentimental songs. We then create a personalized play list for each resident to help them throughout the day.”
Music encourages socialization, as the residents at Poet’s Walk often bond over their favorite genre, like smooth jazz or country. And those who get up and dance are improving blood flow, stretching their muscles and improving coordination. It is also the perfect complement to other activities at Poet’s Walk. Fitness classes, like Tai Chi and yoga, are more interactive and exciting with a song to dance along to. It encourages residents who would otherwise be intimidated of joining in on a class or exercise program with which they are unfamiliar.
Yet, not everything about the music therapy program at Poet’s Walk takes place near the dance floor. Residents who struggle with falling asleep are often soothed with the sounds of classical music. Team members at Poet’s Walk will often leave relaxing music on, lowering resident’s blood pressure and decreasing anxiety. It is a simple, natural method to start a restful evening, before turning to harmful and habit-forming sleep medication.
At Poet’s Walk, Music Therapy is an everyday practice, but like anything, variety is necessary to keep people engaged. This is done through strategic planning. Music of all genres, eras and tempos is constantly being rotated to ensure everyone gets the chance to join in. Live bands and local musicians also often perform or lead sing-alongs with the residents. This is a time where everyone finds common ground, shares a laugh and even a dance.
“I love when the families of our residents visit during our music time,” said Melton. “Often they join in dancing with their loved one—and the team and I sometimes get in the mix as well. It’s truly an emotional experience watching from the corner, knowing that if only just for a minute, music heals all.”
About Spring Hills Senior Communities & Memory Care Communities:
All Spring Hills Senior Communities and Poet’s Walk Memory Care Communities offer a distinctive and innovative approach to assisted living, memory care and Home Care Services as led by Alexander Markowits, President/CEO. Signature Touches is the company’s approach to offering services that are designed to meet the needs and preferences of residents and clients. Personal choice is top priority, which is exemplified by recreational programs led by professionals in one of the company’s Spring Hills communities located in NJ, VA, OH and FL, in the company’s Poet’s Walks communities located in TX, NV, VA, FL and soon-to-be MD, or in their own home. For more information about their commitment to senior living, including information on Spring Hills Home Care Services, visit www.spring-hills.com or www.poetswalk-spring-hills.com.