Music & Memory brings the healing benefits of music to Southington Care Center residents

August 04, 2017

SCCMusicMemory-1.jpgMusic & Memory, a non-profit organization that brings personalized therapeutic music to seniors to enhance their quality of life, has been introduced at Southington Care Center.

“The premise is that our brains are hard-wired to connect music with our long-term memories. Think about a time when you heard a song and how that song took you back to a memory,” said Karen King, staff development educator. “Music fires up the brain, improving cognition, communication and engagement.” 
Southington Care Center, 45 Meriden Ave., celebrated Music & Memory, officially rolling it out on Oct. 17 following a five-month pilot program. A grant from the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health provided the funding for 15 iPod Shuffles, chargers, headphones, and an iTunes gift card for the initial introduction. These were individually loaded with favorite music and genres that were suggested by families of the residents.

Furthermore, The Retirement Research Foundation funded the Brown University Center for Long Term Care, Quality & Innovation to work with Music & Memory and B & F Consulting to learn how to effectively implement the program. Southington Care Center was chosen by the state of Connecticut as one of six skilled nursing centers to work with B & F Consulting to identify best practices in the implementation of Music & Memory.

The intent is to maximize the impact of the program, anticipating benefits including - but not limited to - the reduction in the reliance of anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications, reduced agitation and sun downing as well as enhanced engagement and socialization with family, friends, staff and peers.

As an appreciation for Southington Care Center’s success in implementing the program, Barbara Frank and Cathie Brady of B & F Consulting announced that Music & Memory will donate an additional five iPods for residents.  The information about how to implement the program effectively will be shared with others in a published guide, Frank said.

During the opening celebration, certified nursing assistant Jessica Cordani, who has worked at the Care Center for 12 years, spoke of her personal experience with Music & Memory. She recalled giving an individualized iPod to a resident to listen to her personalized playlist. She then responded by becoming restful and meditative. Cordani said the music usually triggers a positive response. “I love music and believe in its benefits,” she said.

Rotary Club of Southington is also funding Music & Memory. "I really think what this donation will do is much more than purchasing iPods. For residents the music brings back those memories that have been long forgotten and provide a time of joy, clarity and peace even if it's only for a short time. It is a wonderful thing to give that gift to those who will most benefit," said Rev. Victoria Triano, Southington Care Center pastor and Rotary member, speaking on behalf of Robin Morrell, Rotary president.

In preparation for the launch, Music & Memory team members attended a three-day in-service. Members are: Executive Director Bill Kowalewski, Therapeutic Recreation Director Stacy Carleton, Director of Nursing Marje Palladino, Assistant Director of Nursing Cirie Dorosh, Marsha Jarush, Jessica Cordani, Rachel Wallace, Vinnie DeSanti and Donna Malicki-Gornicz.

The Fanelli Room erupted in applause when it was announced that the goal is every resident will receive a personal iPod loaded with their own favorite music.

Southington Care Center offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, and is a not for profit member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services. 

Southington Care Center