Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Discover the "Magic of Music"

Katherine Preede

Starting on Grandparent’s Day, September 7th and continuing through September 13th, assisted living providers, caregivers, residents, family members and members of community from all across the U.S. will celebrate National Assisted Living Week®. This year’s theme is “the Magic of Music,” showcasing the integral role that music plays in assisted living residences every day. The transformational effect of music continues as individuals age and can provide joy, comfort and in some cases, memories long ago experience.

With almost 40% of assisted living residents living with some form of dementia (including Alzheimer’s), looking for non-pharmacological ways to improve the lives of these individuals is a crucial part of providing person-centered care. NCAL’s Quality Initiative includes a three-year goal to reduce the off-label use of antipsychotic medications by 15% by March 2015. NCAL provides a number of resources for assisted living providers to focus on this goal and to educate residents and families about antipsychotic medications.

New research and programs, such as the Music & Memory program (as featured in a new documentary Alive Inside) give new hope as to what we as providers can do to improve the lives of those living with dementia.

Music also has the ability to bring people together – something assisted living communities pride themselves on. NALW will serve as a catalyst to do just that. And throughout the week, we can honor the individuals residing in assisted living, the staff members who provide extraordinary care day in and day out, and help members of community understand the contributions assisted living provides.

NCAL has a planning guide for providers to serve as inspiration for what activities to put together for NALW. NCAL also invites you to “like” NALW on Facebook, to share your ideas and your moments with your residents.

The NALW website also has sample documents (letters to the editor, press release, proclamation) and the NALW logo available for you to download. Please visit for those additional resources.

Be sure to also gear up for NALW! The AHCA/NCAL bookstore has all the items you need to display the spirit of the “Magic of Music” in your community.

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