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Marquardt Village Introduces Music Therapy Program

April 2014

New Music and Memory Certification allows residents to enjoy iPods personalized with favorite music selections

WATERTOWN: How many memories can an iPod hold? The staff of Marquardt Village Health Center and assisted living, along with residents and their families, are excited to find out. Through a grant provided by the State of Wisconsin, Marquardt Village and other senior care providers will become Music and Memory Certified. Certified communities will receive resources for participants to enjoy the healing power of music with their own iPods, personalized with the type of music each resident loves most.

"Music has a unique kind of power, especially for those with dementia," said Gina Symkowski, program leader and member of the Marquardt Village staff for more than seven years. "It brings back a sense of self, enables communication and engages people socially."

By getting to know the residents and their families personally over the years, staff were able to determine who would best fit the first phase of the program, and choose appropriate music that would resonate with each resident in a meaningful way.

"Having the family involved gives them not just an awareness of what is taking place concerning their loved one, but the ability to once again be a part of their family member's life in a way that they once were," said Michael Libby, Chief Operating Officer at Marquardt Village. "Our goal is to help residents reconnect, and live more fully every day."

To reach their goal of providing these resources for every resident at Marquardt Health Center and assisted living, staff are holding an iPod drive and request donations of any model iPod, as well as monetary donations for headphones, iTunes gift cards, and CDs.

Located off Highway 16 in Watertown, Marquardt Village is faith-based and open to all, offering independent living, assisted living, and additional health care services onsite and available to private homes in the area. The community also offers Marquardt at Home, Watertown's only facility to offer clients and referring health care providers a full continuum of in-home health care and supportive services.

To learn more about the Marquardt Village music therapy program, visit musicandmemory.org, or call 920-261-7108.