Music Therapy For Alzheimer’s at Juniper Village at Williamstown



by Kristina Pritchett of the South Jersey Times

Residents at Juniper Village at Williamstown sat in rocking chairs on a recent afternoon, with earbuds in place, as they listened to music with hopes the songs will bring back some memories.

Recently, Juniper Village Wellspring Memory Care Community in Williamstown unveiled a program that utilizes music to aid residents who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia.

There are currently eight people in the program, and everyday for about 15 to 20 minutes they sit together and listen to personalized playlists.

Each of the residents in the program has Alzheimer’s, or a stage of dementia. None of the cases seem to be the same, so they each react differently when they hear a familiar song.

“What happens with Alzheimer’s is the brain shrinks, and different parts of the brain control different parts of the body, memory and speech,” said Marie Crocca, Juniper Village executive director. “Music tends to take them away, back to their memories.”

The music can also help improve the quality of life, relieve boredom, enable memory, reduce or eliminate agitation and provide restoration of identity.

Read more of this story from the South Jersey Times.

Photo by Stephanie Maksin of the South Jersey Times.

Juniper Village at Brookline: Soundtrack of Your Life with Music and Memory Program

Juniper Village at Brookline

Juniper Village at Brookline

by Frank Ready of the Centre Daily Times

The sound of silence is loud.

Well not silence, exactly. There’s an alarm going off at Juniper Village at Brookline — Wellspring Memory Care, a shrill, monotone and very public reminder that not all doors are made to be walked through.

Nobody seems very concerned, as if this is the kind of mistake that just happens from time to time, the kind of ambient noise that comes as naturally to this type of environment as a ringing phone or a squeaky wheelchair.

Nestled comfortably in a rocking chair, 87-year-old resident Mary Garcia seems particularly unperturbed. A slender pair of earbuds have carried her far, far away from the persistent wailing that grounds everyone else firmly in the small office.

Kaitlin Hoover, connections director at Juniper Village at Brookline Wellspring, holds both Garcia’s hand and the pink iPod Shuffle at the other end of the earbuds. This has been a demonstration of the facility’s Music & Memory initiative, a program implemented in October that has quickly become a crucial component in the daily routines of residents like Garcia.

“If she doesn’t get her music at 4 p.m., it sends her on a rampage,” Hoover says.

The facility rotates five sets of iPods and headphones among 34 residents. Each resident has a personalized playlist, a musical itinerary carefully cultivated from questionnaires, family members and caretakers’ individual knowledge of each of their charges.

Back in her rocker, Garcia sings along to a Spanish melody, a reminder of her late husband. She lets out a tiny sigh of recognition and tears glisten in her eyes. Being anchored to the past has helped her find clarity in the present.

Music has always had a powerful presence in Garcia’s life and she enjoyed sharing it with others. She taught her niece, Karen Wertz, how to play the piano at a young age.

Wertz continues to visit her aunt at Juniper Village at Brookline, and while she’s not sure that the music on Garcia’s iPod restores her memories to full luster, she says she thinks it brings back something positive for her.

“It just brightens her up,” Wertz said.

Precisely when this bright spot occurs varies from day to day. The iPods are typically deployed closer to the evening, but if a resident becomes agitated, caregivers may decide to cue the music — which in some cases can reduce a patient’s reliance on psychotropic drugs.

Read more of this story from the Centre Daily Times.

Photo by Nabil K. Mark of the Centre Daily Times.

April 2015 Events at Juniper Communities: Believe in Yourself

April 2015 Events

April 2015 Events

by Cindy Longfellow

Welcome to April – the name derived from the Latin word Aperire meaning “to open”; the month when everything starts to bloom and come alive. What better time to really put forth your best efforts and see the true beauty inside than the month in which everything begins anew! Diana Ross, in the Wiz, advises “believe in yourself, right from the start. You’ll have brains; you’ll have a heart; you’ll have courage to last your whole life through if you believe in yourself.” So let’s put our best foot forward, believe in ourselves and we can move mountains!

Join us for our April 2015 events at our wonderful Juniper Communities as we pull pranks on April Fool’s Day; honor Jesus Christ on Good Friday, followed by hiding Easter eggs; celebrate the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery on Passover; and celebrate mother earth on Earth Day and Arbor Day. Peruse this month’s calendars as we focus on the brain through our Daily Brain Builders, Wii tournaments and our Healthy Brain Luncheon. Plan to join us for any and all events. Also, check out our Healthy Aging Resource Library to learn more about the brain or any number of health related topics. We look forward to seeing you during this fun filled month.

Our fabulous April 2015 events at our wonderful Juniper Communities include our:

  • Annual Community Wide Easter Egg Hunt Event a wonderful event that celebrates family, fun and tradition as we enjoy delightful seasonal refreshments, beautiful music, and, of course, the Easter Egg Hunt for all the kids and our very special guest, The Easter Bunny, will be on site to hop along and take photos with all the kids on April 4th from 10:00 am to 11:30 am in Williamstown, NJ at Juniper Village at Williamstown.
  • Motown & Martini’s celebration of the beginning of Spring in our lovely courtyard with the musical talents of our favorite Motown man, Greg Miller, while we serve brain healthy food, such as chocolate, strawberries and (healthy in moderation) chocolate martini’s on April 8th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in Cape Coral, FL at Juniper Village at Cape Coral.
  • “Sweet & Sassy Seniors” Line Dancing performance lead by Peggy Confair, followed by interactive participation as Juniper Village has partnered with the Maple Street Senior Center to provide dancing for fitness on April 14th from 10:30 am to 11:30 am in Lebanon, PA at Juniper Village at Lebanon.
  • Juniper Game Show with our very own hand crafted wheel and “Vana White” as we would love to challenge you in a game of Finish that Phrase and there will be excellent brain food to enjoy as you sit back and enjoy the show on April 21st at 3:30 pm in Louisville, CO at Juniper Village at Louisville.
  • Business Breakfast for Business Professionals Only for an amazing brain healthy breakfast prepared by our Chef Nathan Reed while gaining an opportunity to network with one another here in our Shenango Valley on April 22nd at 8:30 am in Sharon, PA at Juniper Village at The Shenango Inn.

We hope to see you at one or more of our April 2015 events at our wonderful Juniper Communities!

Regis Jesuit Year of the Arts Benefits Juniper Village at Aurora

Year of the Arts

Year of the Arts

by Jeanine Geauer

Regis Jesuit High School will host a special screening of Alive Inside, winner of the 2014 Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, on Thursday, April 9, 2014 at 7:00 pm in The Z Theatre in the school’s Performing Arts Center & Student Commons. This powerful film demonstrates music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Following the screening, there will be a question and answer session with representatives from Juniper Village at Aurora, a long-term memory care community. The screening is free and open to the public, thanks to funding from Regis Jesuit’s Year of the Arts. Continue reading