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Jewish Senior Life expands its music therapy program

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Jewish Senior Life’s music therapy program now has two certified neurological music therapists on staff.

Melody Boyd and Kristina Jewell use an evidence-based processing model comprised of 20 techniques for sensorimotor training, speech, language, and cognitive training, and focus on the neurosciences of music to process the brain and brain connectors in people with human injury or disease. the nervous system.

“The NMTs provide groups on the Neurobehavioural Unit and the Memory Care Unit, as well as one of them offering one-on-one campus-wide tours,” said Meghan Bevins, Director of Recreation Therapy. “For example, we could partner with a physiotherapist to reduce freezing episodes in a resident with Parkinson’s disease in order to optimize their safety and independence. In a group setting, both NMTs meet individual and group needs through structured musical exercises that stimulate cognitive function, access to memory and movement, while allowing for socialization at the level of engagement of each patient.

Music therapy helps our residents achieve their personal goals and gives them a sense of belonging and purpose. With only 7,000 certified music therapists in the United States, we are pleased to have this service available to our residents.

Populations served by NMT include patients with stroke and head trauma, as well as those with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and other neurological disorders that affect communication, movement and cognition. The special designation requires a four-year degree combined with training, continuing education, and an exam which must be passed every three years to ensure they are up to date on current changes in research and intervention. .

Jewish Senior Life also offers various music programs including SingFit, Simpl Players, Music and Memory, as well as live performances by artists from the Rochester community. SingFit is the newest venture and allows for safe singing through a lyrical track, as well as interactive group sessions that include movement and reminiscence through musical interaction.

Current Jewish Senior Life Artist-in-Residence Ashlen Wright is a trained singer at Nazareth College who provides music to all of its residents.


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