three gentlemen sitting together listening to musicSeveral residents at Platte Health Care Avera are enjoying the benefits of individualized music playlists thanks to the Music & Memory ® South Dakota program. The program can assist in many areas including decreased use of anti-psychotic medications and depression as well as an increase in alertness and overall quality of life. As seen in the picture above, these gentlemen are happily listening to their music while also keeping each other company.

Kayla NielsenKayla Nielsen, MBA, program manager with the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care, has been helping implement the program, “I have seen the benefits music provides to individuals with dementia, both in my personal and professional life.  Working with Music & Memory has allowed me to share the gift of music with many nursing home residents across South Dakota. This program can change lives!”

Platte Health Care Center Avera was chosen as one of 55 facilities to receive training, equipment and support through grant funds. Staff saw the value of this alternative music therapy and made it a priority to implement and strengthen the program in their facility.

“We recently lost a resident and her daughter raved about how her mother loved her music and how much Music & Memory helped her through the last phase of her life,” shared Glee Deffenbaugh, activities director in Platte. “Our hope is to have music downloaded for each resident that wants to be on the program in the near future. At the present time, we have ten residents that are enjoying the program.”

The Platte Health Center Avera has expanded their program through the use of volunteers and fundraisers, including a Tail Gate Party where they served a hamburger meal at a home football game. The community‘s generosity provided enough funds to buy more equipment to share the gift of music with an even greater number of residents.

In addition to the four activities department employees, six additional staff members have taken the Music & Memory certification class, including certified nurse assistants, social services, dietary and nursing staff.

Nielsen concluded, “I am confident that Music & Memory will have a long-lasting impact on South Dakota nursing homes.  We hope the use of music will decrease anti-psychotic medication use and provide a better quality of life for all individuals it touches.”

Additional information can be found on the Music & Memory website or by contacting Teresa Haatvedt, RN, BSN, CDP. The Great Plains QIN also provides resources and tools to support all quality improvement efforts through the nursing home care initiative.