Music and Wellness: In Vista Terrace, residents greet each other with a song, share stories, move to music, sing, and play instruments- all during one group- led by North Hill’s Music Therapist, Kristi Faby. Music therapy is the evidence-based practice of using music as a tool to address nonmusical goals such as promoting cognition, communication, and motor skills. Perhaps most importantly, music therapy can enhance quality of life. Music therapy is used with a variety of populations and is particularly effective for older adults.
“From a health and wellness perspective, music therapy provides tremendous benefits to seniors. Music can ease the perception of pain, lessen anxiety, and promote better sleep patterns. For seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, music therapy sessions can help trigger fond memories and improve communication.” says Joe Frias, Director of Healthcare Services at North Hill. “At North Hill, we are very fortunate to have a full-time board certified music therapist on our interdisciplinary team who provides therapeutic programming to our residents.”
Meaningful Engagement: Julie Hieshetter, Memory Support Manager at North Hill, states that “music allows people with memory decline to open up more easily, engage and participate.” Hieshetter attributes these positive outcomes to music’s universal effects. “It’s something we can all relate to and have experienced.”
Community Involvement: Due to various factors such as mobility limitations, Vista Terrace residents cannot always attend town hall and other events across North Hill. As part of a new program entitled “Music and Happenings,” leadership executives come to them to share the joy of music and discuss campus-wide issues. To initiate the group, Joe Frias engaged in making music and contributing to a productive dialogue around healthcare initiatives at North Hill. Frias explained his role, and residents asked questions surrounding their own health needs. North Hill CEO and President Ted Owens participated in the group during the month of February.
Some final notes on music therapy:
- Music therapists are Board Certified by the Certification Board of Music Therapists and undergo intensive clinical training.
- Kristi Faby received her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Music Therapy from Florida State University and completed her internship at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA.
- At Vista Terrace we offer daily music therapy groups open to everyone.
- Depending on their needs, some residents may qualify for individual services.
- To inquire about our referral process or for further information about North Hill’s music therapy program contact Kristi Faby, MM, MT-BC, CDP at KFaby@Northhill.org.
- To learn more about music therapy in general, visit the American Music Therapy Association website: musictherapy.org.
Kristi Faby, Music Therapist, North Hill