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February 2024

We all have those songs that we listen to that bring us back to a specific time or memory. Whether you prefer country, classical, jazz, or rock music, some of our favorite songs will evoke memories and even emotions. Music is a powerful tool for individuals of all ages, but when playing music for older adults with cognitive loss, it can be enormously influential for their well-being. Research has shown that listening to music can work to improve one’s episodic memory, which is correlated with remembering specific events associated with our emotions. Here at Mountain Vista, we have seen the influence that music can have on our residents firsthand, so we try to incorporate musical activities into their daily lives as much as we can.

Annie Lozano, who is the Director of Resource Development at Mountain Vista and is shown here, will occasionally sing and play her guitar for residents who reside in the Memory Care Unit. Typically, the residents gather around the table while Annie plays familiar songs for them. Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, the Rolling Stones… You name it! When asking Annie about the connection between music and memory, she expressed how she feels that music can trigger positive memories and can comfort older adults with dementia. She added, “As confusing as the day might be for them, music can take them back to the present. Sometimes all it takes is a familiar song from their past to give them a sense of comfort.” Not only can music physically relax older individuals, but it can also be a useful tool for allowing them to feel more connected with one another and have some fun!

Our music activities and events here at Mountain Vista provide entertainment for everyone. Whether we are doing karaoke, sing-alongs, watching a musical performance, or playing music individually for a resident, music is almost guaranteed to put a smile on our resident’s faces. The magic of music is powerful, and it is so important for us to take advantage of it!

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Who doesn’t love to go on a trip to the bowling alley and spend some time with your pals? On January 30, we recently took a few of our residents to the local Bowlero for a fun outing, where they were able to spend some quality time with one another in a community setting and challenge each other to some friendly competition while having a blast! Taking our residents out into the community and participating in social activities is influential for their overall wellbeing, which is why we emphasize our activities programs here at Mountain Vista.

One of our residents that attended the bowling outing spoke up on why she feels socialization is beneficial to her own physical and mental well-being. She expressed, “When I get the chance to go on an outing here at Mountain Vista, I feel like an active community member. On the bowling trip, I was able to socialize with individuals in our community and see people from all walks of life. It gives me a deep sense of meaning and purpose.” This resident also mentioned how her socialization levels are interconnected with her physical, mental, and cognitive well-being. “When I socialize with others it gives me the chance to be more physically active, learn about others life experiences, and even keep my mind busy. I feel like socializing has allowed me to be more cognitively active, which is crucial for my health.” 

Through our scheduled activities and outings that take place here at Mountain Vista, we aim to improve all aspects of well-being, including social health. Our scheduled activities and outings, such as the recent excursion to the bowling alley, are beneficial for our residents in so many ways. Not only are they fun, but they also foster meaningful connections and promote the overall health of our residents. It sounds like going bowling is right up our alley! 

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