Hebrew Senior Care Begins iPod Program

November 5, 2014, West Hartford, CT – Hebrew Senior Care is the first long-term care facility in greater Hartford to begin the Music & Memory® program. This is an innovative program sweeping the globe to connect people with advanced dementia to a personalized music playlist to improve well-being. “We need new or used iPods and iTunes gift card donations to bring this program to more than 250 elders in our community,” said Amanda Aaron, TRD, Director of Life Enrichment at Hebrew Senior Care.

The program at Hebrew Senior Care is generously supported by the William and Alice Mortensen Foundation to provide the staff training, purchase of a laptop and to start the program for residents. The staff and volunteers need to collect old devices (iPod Shuffle, Nano or Touch) or iTunes gift cards for the purchase of music. Cash donations for the program are also accepted.

“Enhancing quality of life through the arts is something we’ve been doing at Hebrew Senior Care for more than a decade,” explained Pamela Atwood, MA, CDP, Director of Dementia Care Services for Hebrew Senior Care, “but this program is the first which pairs new technology and resident-specific preferences in music. Music therapy, art therapy and dance and movement therapy are provided through our “Fresh Canvas” program. Now we can provide simple, individualized music for those who prefer solitude or cannot participate in groups. Nothing could be more person-centered.”

The Music & Memory program has been gaining popularity with the documentary Alive Inside which chronicles the program developed by Dan Cohen, MSW. The film premiered in Connecticut on September 12th at Real Art Ways in Hartford. Since receiving accolades at Sundance and other festivals, and since the movie trailer has been viewed by thousands on social media, the program has been providing hope for connecting with people who seem lost in their cognitive impairment.

Hebrew Senior Care also utilizes music therapy, and points out that these are two different approaches. Maggie Carchrie, a Board Certified Music Therapist who works with Hebrew Senior Care clarified, “Music therapy is an individualized intervention to engage people in expression and work on specific goals. It is provided by Board-certified music therapists. The Music & Memory program is different; although it may have a therapeutic effect, putting a pair of headphones on and hitting “play” is a facilitated leisure activity.”

“The key to this approach is the personalized playlist,” said Aaron. If you are from the current generation of younger people, the so-called Millenials, it doesn’t mean you will automatically like Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift. Similarly, we cannot assume that all people in their 70s like Sinatra.”

To donate a used iPod or to give iTunes gift cards, call 860-523-3885; or for monetary donations call the Development office at 860-523-3994.

Hebrew Senior Care is a non-profit, non-sectarian health care provider featuring a full spectrum of integrated and seamless in-patient; out-patient and community based geriatric services to meet the needs of older adults in the Greater Hartford community. Hebrew Senior Care is committed to providing comprehensive care of the elderly. Not simply saying it, not simply building it, HHC does it – every day, every week, every year, for over 113 years. Hebrew Senior Care’s commitment to the elderly in the Greater Hartford area is unparalleled and is the foundation on which our reputation for excellence is based. Hebrew Senior Care is comprised of the following service affiliates:

The Hospital at Hebrew Senior Care
Hoffman SummerWood Community
Hebrew Health Visiting Nurses
Hebrew Health Hospice
Hebrew Health Assisted Living Services
Hebrew Health Adult Day Services
Hebrew Rehabilitation Group
Connecticut Geriatric Specialty Group
The Gene and Anja Rosenberg Hebrew Home and Rehabilitation Center