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

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause disastrous care transitions, expert warns

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause ...

What may appear to be minor administrative problems in a nursing home - a fax machine locked away at night or no one designated to copy paperwork - can cause ...

Long-term care facilities approach 80% worker flu vaccination rate after handing power ...

Fourteen long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania dramatically increased their staff flu vaccination rate by having a regional pharmacy take over the process, according to a report issued Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR).

RACs were 'most improved' healthcare auditors for getting back money in 2013, ...

Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors dramatically stepped up their overpayment recoveries last year, returning nearly $487 million more to the government than they did in 2012, according to a new report from a federal watchdog agency.