He's tuned in to resident choice

Share this article:
Will music improve MDS 3.0 scores?
Will music improve MDS 3.0 scores?
When iPods, the popular portable music players, started to become ubiquitous in about 2006, licensed social worker Dan Cohen Googled “iPods and nursing homes.” He found no connection between the two anywhere on the Internet. Surprised, he made a couple of phone calls.

Two weeks later, iPod and laptop in hand, he visited a nursing home in Long Island, NY, and proposed making personalized play lists for residents. He was curious to see if listening to familiar music had a soothing effect on nursing home residents.

It did. Cohen then quickly launched a pilot program with the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, which allowed him to study using personalized playlists as a form of music therapy for nursing home residents.

When working with a new resident, Cohen surveys her or his music preference based on a list of genres and suggestions. The goal is finding a person's 100 most favorite songs. If a resident is too ill to speak, Cohen asks family and friends what the person used to listen to when he or she was well.

Once Cohen fine tunes a resident's playlist, he says he can usually see behavior improvements right away. For instance, he's seen Alzheimer's patients who haven't spoken in months stand up and wave their arms in the air in time with the music. Others have started interacting with other residents and staff more frequently.

“If residents are no longer agitated, then the quality of caring improves,” Cohen says. “It's great for staff morale, the people they care for are less anxious and less depressed. It's a very simple approach that has potentially very high impact.”

Cohen says he first based his iPod idea on preferences he'd have if he were ever a long-term care resident.
“If I'm ever in the nursing home, I want to have all my music and movies with me. I would be happy,” he notes.
Share this article:
close

Next Article in News

More in News

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in two years: Avalere

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in ...

More than three-quarters of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a managed care plan as of 2016, according to an Avalere Health analysis released Thursday. The numbers reveal that managed ...

Nursing home asked for employee's personal information too often, jury rules

The human resources department of a Maine nursing home did not properly protect a former employee's personal identification information, a jury recently ruled.

Test could confirm sepsis within an hour

Nursing home residents might benefit from a new way of diagnosing and treating sepsis made possible by discoveries out of the University of British Columbia.