Grant music to ears of Rocky Knoll residents
Rocky Knoll Health Care Center resident Delores Leon experiences listening to music on an iPod loaded with tunes customized to her musical interests. The iPod and iTunes music card were provided via a Well-Tuned Music grant to the Life Enrichment department to improve the quality of life and generate a variety of therapeutic outcomes for long-term care residents.
Director of Life Enrichment Kim Loose (left) and Life Enrichment therapist Deb Jacoby secured a $6,000 Well-Tuned music grant which includes use of iPod Shuffles, adapters and headphones to bring customized music to residents. Rocky Knoll is one of 16 nursing homes nationwide and the only one in Wisconsin to receive the grant.

Rocky Knoll Health Care Center near Elkhart Lake is one of 16 nursing homes in the U. S. selected to receive a $6,000 grant to improve the quality of life and generate a variety of therapeutic outcomes for long-term care residents via the establishment of Well-Tuned: Music Players for Health Programs.

This grant was made possible through the Well-Tuned music contributors along with matching funds of $2,500 from the Rocky Knoll Foundation.

The grant will provide residents of Rocky Knoll the use of 50 iPod Shuffles, 50 adapters and 60 headphones. Music is already a central recreational activity in long-term care; however, because it is group based, music availability is time limited and the song selection is age appropriate, not person specific.

It turns out that total music personalization magnifies the benefits of music for residents regardless of cognitive, physical, or social situations in the following ways:

¦ drastically reducing agitation and sun-downing;

¦ increasing resident cooperation and attention;

¦ increasing engagement and socialization;

¦ decreases wandering;

¦ providing meaningful activity for persons in dialysis, on a vent, or bed bound;

¦ enabling a non-pharmaceutical approach to reducing pain by providing relaxation and diversion.

This grant is a collaborative program between Music & Memory and the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function of New York. Rocky Knoll will be working with them for the next year.

Rocky Knoll Health Care Center is the first facility in Wisconsin to receive this grant. It joins a group of 40 facilities in the U. S. who all previously were awarded this grant and all are still continuing the program today. This project is made possible by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Paragon Capital Management, Altec Lansing, Koss Stereophones of Milwaukee, The Regency at Glen Cove and Premier Search.

Music plays a major part in the lives of all people and is used daily at Rocky Knoll. This new program will aid the Life Enrichment department by being able to provide age appropriate music of all genres to residents. Staff will work with residents and their families to develop individual playlists for residents selected to take part in the research program. These playlists will be downloaded music via iTunes cards which were also part of the grant.

Music is a wonderful intervention for all individuals but can be of great signifi-cance to a person with dementia, Rocky Knoll officials said. Words and songs are often remembered long after other memories have been forgotten. Music can be magical by allowing people to participate in some way—singing, tapping their foot, humming along, or just listening to old favorites.

Rocky Knoll is looking at all the new technology and how it can make an impact in the lives of their residents. The staff at Rocky Knoll welcomes donations of iPods, tablets, kindles, etc. or financial contributions to the music program by calling Kim Loose, Life Enrichment director, at (920) 449-1239.

Rocky Knoll has been serving area residents since 1926. Today they offer short-term rehabilitation including physical, occupational and speech therapy; extended stay nursing care, respite, hospice, and dementia care. The quality of care at Rocky Knoll is excellent and rates better than both state and national averages.