Aase Haugen Senior Services is seeing tremendous growth in its second year as a certified "Music & Memory" site. Music & Memory helps people in nursing homes and other care facilities to find renewed meaning and connection in their lives through the gift of personalized music.
Currently, 23 Aase Haugen residents are participating in the Music & Memory program, compared to two in 2016. Aase Haugen Activity Supervisor Andrea Hexom says, "Our goal is for every resident to be able to participate in the program if they would like to."
All Aase residents on Hospice are offered a playlist, as are residents with a Parkinson's disease diagnosis, as research shows great promise through the use of music with this diagnosis.
Aase's Music & Memory trained staff use a music survey form and often ask family members for help in finding just the right songs. Hexom expalins, "It takes patience to find just the right versions of some songs to add to the playlist that brings joy to the residents. When you finally get it, you see the joy and happiness on their faces – it is all worth the effort."
Family members and staff who work with the residents are given a print out of their individualized playlist so they can easily navigate to a particular song to help spark joy for a resident having a bad day, or create the right mood for a specific activity or session. When family members listen with the resident, it allows them to connect and experience moments of joy together.
Hexom adds, "It is really exciting to see how residents come more alive and engaged when listening to their favorite songs. Some begin to reminisce about the good old days when they used to go dancing in Spillville, and some even dance while listening to their favorite songs."
Aase Haugen is currently looking for Music & Memory volunteers to come in and listen to music with residents. For more information on the Music and Memory Program visit the website at https://musicandmemory.org/. To volunteer with the program at Aase Haugen, or to donate iPod Shuffles or iTunes cards, contact Aase Haugen Senior Services Activity Supervisor Andrea Hexom at (563) 382-3603.