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Is It Music Therapy, Music Education or Music Entertainment?

Did you know that music activates every area of the brain? It's true, scientific researchers have observed that listening to music and engagement in music-based activities can affect all areas of the brain. Music activates the “feel-good centers” of the brain, and it can even help create new neural pathways. The benefits of music are abundant and far-reaching!

As a music therapist, one question I receive all the time is What exactly is music therapy?

The definition of music therapy can be broken into two parts:

  1. It involves the use of evidence-based music interventions designed to accomplish specific goals based on the needs of an individual or group.
  2. All of this happens within a therapeutic relationship, and that person is a credentialed professional music therapist.

To break these parts down further, evidence-based interventions are simply music-oriented experiences or activities such as singing, playing an instrument, moving to music, and songwriting, all...

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Why Can’t I Just Use YouTube?

This month, we’re addressing a question we sometimes get in regard to our virtual music engagement program: Why can’t I just use YouTube? It’s definitely a valid question given the nature of the platform with which we’re all most likely familiar. Let’s explore how Bridgetown Music Therapy’s virtual music engagement program measures against, and ultimately stands apart from YouTube.


1. Dementia-friendly Life Enrichment
While YouTube is more entertainment focused, our program is more than just entertainment - it’s enriching for participants. Our content is recreational in nature. The goal isn’t necessarily to learn a skill or topic, but to have fun doing music while benefitting from enriching music-based activities at the same time. It was also intentionally created to be dementia-friendly.

2. Quality
Unlike a lot of content on YouTube, our videos are extremely high quality, produced by a professional videographer on...

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10 Great Resources Every Activity Professional Should Know

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in your job and just need some guidance? Whether you’re a seasoned Activity Professional, or a newbie, we've compiled these tools and resources specially for you! We’re thrilled to share them with and truly hope they’ll support you in your work.


Activity Connection
For Activity Professionals, Activity Connection is likely a familiar name. This online repository is a treasure trove of resources, empowering senior living communities to enhance resident engagement through a wealth of materials. Alongside a multitude of activity guides, monthly event planning tools, and downloadable content, Activity Connection fosters a dynamic forum where Activity Professionals can exchange ideas and collaborate with peers in their field.

Golden Carers
Similar to Activity Connection, Golden Carers provides an extensive array of meaningful activities for residents in many formats. The platform further supports Activity Professionals by...

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Music Makes a Difference During the Holiday Season

Can you imagine the holidays without music? I think it would feel like a giant missing puzzle piece! I will admit, sometimes hearing the same songs over and over throughout the holiday season can get annoying, and by the time January 1 rolls around, I’m ready to take a nice long 47-week break from holiday music. But truly, stop and ponder for a moment, what would the holidays be like without the sounds of the season?

A beautiful transformation takes place during the holiday season. Twinkling lights and other decorations pop up everywhere, festive smells fill the air, and the spirit of togetherness warms our hearts. Amidst this magical ambiance, music emerges as a powerful force that contributes to the special feel of the holidays. I think it’s safe to say, music plays a big role this time of year. Let’s explore several reasons why.

Setting the Atmosphere
There’s no denying the transformative power of music in setting the holiday atmosphere. From the...

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The Beauty of Intergenerational Relationships - Guest Post with Isabel Tom

This month, we had the pleasure of hearing from Isabel Tom, a mom, wife, daughter, and retired granddaughter, who shares her intergenerational living experience. Isabel is author of "The Value of Wrinkles: A Young Perspective on How Loving the Old will Change Your Life." With her unique perspective she loves encouraging and equipping families, faith communities, and senior care providers to value the older generation more. Isabel grew up in a multigenerational household and took part in caring for my her paternal grandparents, "Mama" and "Yeye" who lived to 98 and 102 and cared for her dad who lived to 69. Professionally, she's worked in the senior living and the hospice care field. Learn more here: The Value of Wrinkles


There’s magic that happens when we bring the young and old together. Intergenerational relationships, however, don’t always happen naturally.

I grew up living in the same house as my grandparents. We were...

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Introducing "Dementia Divas!"

 

This month, we had the pleasure of hearing from Carrie Aalberts, aka "Dementia Darling." Carrie is a delightful human who is passionate about empowering dementia caregivers by sharing education and resources. She supports caregivers by being a positive, uplifting voice of encouragement, spreading love and compassion to those who find themselves in a dementia caregiver role. Make sure to visit @dementiadarling on Instagram and give her a follow!


Hi All, it’s Dementia Darling and I am absolutely thrilled to share something that has been close to my heart and promises to be a game-changer for the dementia community!! Let me introduce you to the much-anticipated release of “Dementia Divas!”

“Dementia Divas” is not your typical TV show; it’s a monumental leap forward in our journey to create a more empathetic and understanding world for those touched by dementia! At its core, this show is an extraordinary platform for...

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Promoting Excellence in Activity Programs: A Spotlight on the National Association of Activity Professionals

The National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP) is comprised of Activity Professionals serving Activity Professionals. Our commitment to the health care sector includes providing quality education, ethics, standards of practice, competencies, and advocacy. 

Activity Professionals provide activity services and programs, which enable individuals to maximize their desired potential and personal interest in activity participation. The provisions of activity programs and services are primarily, but not limited to, the geriatric populations who live in a variety of health care settings that may include other populations with special needs. The clients we serve, the settings in which services are provided, and the services we provide are based on the needs of the populations we serve. The activity practice is based on a comprehensive assessment, development, implementation, documentation, and evaluation of the programs provided. In addition, the unique interests, physical,...

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Introducing Zinnia: Better TV for People Living with Dementia

In today's fast-paced and technologically advanced world, it's easy to overlook the profound impact technology can have on people's lives. Technology can be a burden but it can also be a powerful tool to bring joy, healing and transformation. Technology is ever-evolving, and in the world of dementia care, it’s being harnessed to enhance the lives of people living with dementia. One such company that’s created an innovative solution to meet the needs and challenges of people living with dementia is Zinnia TV.

We learned about Zinnia earlier this year and became instant fans. Zinnia was started by four individuals with a passion to make a difference in the lives of people living with dementia. As a person’s brain function declines due to the degenerative nature of dementia, it can become difficult to track a plot, process fast-moving images, and tell fact from fiction. Regular TV can end up being detrimental for people living with dementia because...

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5 Engaging Activities for You and Your Aging Loved One at Home

Are you the primary caregiver or care partner for your loved one living at home? Perhaps you spend a few hours with a special older individual each week? If so, you may be trying to come up with some activities to do with them, and we've got a few ideas to share with you!

First off, how about getting your hands dirty with gardening? Try planting the easiest to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs. It will be rewarding to harvest them and to enjoy the fruit of your labor together. If you’re not interested in growing your own food, try growing flowers. Picking and arranging flowers could be another activity. If you’re not into growing flowers, just buy them from the store or farmer’s market and have fun arranging flowers together. If gardening and growing flowers aren’t working for you, how about simply going on nature walks? See what plants, flowers, birds, insects and other wildlife you can find. Bring a camera along, and take photos of the beautiful...

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Introducing Relish!

An estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are currently living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. This number is projected to more than double by 2050. Worldwide, an estimated 54 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias (2022 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures). These numbers are staggering, and there’s currently no straightforward cure, but there are ways to combat decline, slow degeneration, and improve quality of life.

At Bridgetown Music Therapy, our main focus is the modality of music to improve a person’s wellbeing. Music can engage and positively affect individuals cognitively, emotionally, physically, spiritually, socially and more. This can lead to outcomes such as partially or temporarily restoring language and communication, sparking memories, and reducing stress or anxiety. Music is not the only way to engage a person and enrich their life though. Many other engaging activities and therapies exist that...

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