Thomas, WV – Cortland Acres, together with their music therapy partner Milestones & Music, attended the annual Tucker County Day at the State Legislature in Charleston, West Virginia on February 5. As an exhibitor during the evening reception at the Culture Center, Cortland highlighted their highly successful music therapy program which started back in December, 2018.
Initially just a brief twice-monthly program, Milestones & Music’s owner and board-certified music therapist Patricia Allison conducts four programs each week. Ranging from individual therapy sessions to the newest “grandfriends” partnership with pre-school age children from the Mountain Laurel Learning Cooperative, music therapy is now a weekly day-long curriculum.
“Having a chance to talk with the legislators was great,” explains Allison. “I could talk about music therapy all day, and our law makers were really interested in learning more. As a member of the state task force for music therapy, advocating for our profession and the clients we serve is very important to me. I’m so thankful Cortland Acres sees the way it benefits the residents and wants to do the same!”
The soothing properties of music is nothing new. It’s uses with older adults as part of therapy, however, is an emerging field. According to Michael Detmer, Ph.D., “music therapy and its ability to increase physical activity among mature adults have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, reduce aggressiveness and anxiety, reduce blood pressure and improve cognitive function.”
Cortland’s Vision 2030 initiative included the creation of an “age friendly” community through innovative services and programs that would provide mutual benefit to the very young and not so young. As highlighted in the corporate logo, “the nature of care” is in the very fabric of its existence. As many skilled nursing facilities struggle to becomes more resident-centric as mandated by government regulations, Cortland Acres leads the way with unique and innovative programs like music therapy and offers a more compassionate and holistic approach to senior living. The principles of respect, positive engagement, individuality, and the ability of residents to make choices in their life are crucial to more resident-focused care.