Matching the grant with a $2,500 contribution to meet the $6,000 requirements of the program, the Orzac CECR received 50 iPod shuffles, headphone sets and adapters, along with orientation and training for staff members, and a year of program support and one-on-one consultation from Well-Tuned: Music Players for Health representatives. Orzac recreation therapy staff members maintain the iTunes account on the facility’s computers to download the music, and learned how to assist patients and their families in developing and listening to their own playlists.
Studies have shown that listening to music provides extensive health benefits, including reducing pain, decreasing recovery time, better managing stress and tension, promoting relaxation, increasing coordination and contributing to a positive state of mind. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and depression or anxiety have benefited with improved memory and ability to recall events, reduced occurrence of negative behaviors and better cooperation, a longer attention span and improved feelings of self-worth and happiness.
The Orzac CECR is a 120-bed facility located on the campus of Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream, NY. The staff uses music as a central recreational activity for its patients to reduce isolation and engage patients’ minds by teaching them about a new technology. The facility ranks among the top nursing facilities in the country and holds a five-star rating for overall quality from the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Well-Tuned: Music Players for Health is a collaborative effort between Music and Memory and the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function to make music available to nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Funding was provided by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. For more information visit www.musicandmemory.org or www.imnf.org.
To learn more about the Well-Tuned: Music Players for Health program at the Orzac Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation, call the department of Recreation Therapy at (516) 256-6635.