Music Builds Camaraderie And Cognizance For Seniors At The Carolina Inn

Gift of piano strengthens assisted living community’s musical programming

(Fayetteville, North Carolina)—According to the Alzheimer’s Association, music can have a positive impact on individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. With that in mind, The Carolina Inn has enhanced its musical programming.

One of the goals of Heather Trainor, life enrichment director at the Fayetteville, North Carolina assisted living community, is to bring live professional performances to The Carolina Inn as well as offer residents the opportunity to learn and play music themselves. And her efforts are being rewarded. The organist at Snyder Baptist Church, who’s mother lives at The Carolina Inn, was so impressed with the musical environment that the organization recently gifted a piano to the community. Tuned and moved in, it already is providing joy to seniors and their families.

“Music is a big part of many activities at The Carolina Inn,” said Trainor. “It brings people together, creates a connection and gives seniors who are struggling to communicate verbally a way to express themselves.”

She pointed to the numerous studies that have been published demonstrating how music effects the brain, often relieving stress, agitation and anxiety in older adults. Trainor has experienced this first hand, watching those with memory loss become more present when engaged in a musical performance.

“I’ve personally seen dementia patients sing songs they knew from years ago even though they may not understand exactly what is going on around them in the moment,” she said. “Others have told me how incredible it feels when they hear a tune that brings back a cherished memory. Their faces literally light up.”

Residents at The Carolina Inn have countless ways to experience and participate in musical programs at the community. The new piano, for example, is being used for sing-a-long hymns with Pastor Boyle and Ginny on Sundays as well as additional performances including when the Carolina Highlands Choir visits in March. Betty Howie, the choir director, was instrumental in brining the piano to The Carolina Inn.

Just this past January, the Fayetteville symphony orchestra was invited to perform on campus, as well, playing popular and familiar “oldies.” Orchestra members even took the time to visit the rooms of those who were unable to attend the main concert.

Coming to The Carolina Inn in March are local favorites Luke Lowe, David Riska with pianist Leslie Penrod performing songs by Stephen Foster and Irving Berlin, and the Ladies Trio from First Presbyterian Church. The end of the month welcomes Final Harvest, a trio of women based out of Rochester, New York who travel to senior living communities throughout the eastern states performing a wide range of musical styles including southern gospel, contemporary and original classical inspirational.

Weekly happy hours are another time residents can enjoy music at The Carolina Inn. In March, performers will include Bill Ludden on keyboard, entertainment from Wayne Tate, plus guitar and vocals from Kevin Taylor and Burke Long. Kevin Taylor also plays guitar during the community’s monthly Birthday Party Social.

“These are some of the best attended activities we have at The Carolina Inn,” said Trainor. “Everyone loves to participate.”

Residents also can take part in a Name that Tune game that involves songs from their time as well as play the piano that sits in the front lobby. Most choose to tickle the ivories at the pianos on the second or third floors instead.

The extensive musical program at The Carolina Inn is just one of many Life Enrichment opportunities at the senior living community. Others include nutrition and health, creative cuisine, wine appreciation, strength and balance, chair yoga, The Artist Within, spa services, gardening, and current events.

Combined, the Life Enrichment programs, social events and educational activities have earned The Carolina Inn the designation as the senior living destination in Fayetteville. The boutique assisted living community provides seniors with a resort-style ambiance along with quality healthcare that offers the highest licensed nursing-to-resident ratio in the area.

The Carolina Inn is located in the heart of the Village Green neighborhood, which offers access to a continuum of care with independent living in The Carolina Highlands, assisted living at The Carolina Inn, and skilled nursing and rehab. Both The Carolina Highlands and The Carolina Inn are operated by Village Green Real Estate and Development.

Spanning 100 acres, Village Green is an intergenerational community boasting mature tree lines, rolling hills, water vistas, and a secluded ambiance. At the same time, the neighborhood is close to doctors’ offices and medical services with Cape Fear Valley Regional Hospital less than one mile away. Fort Bragg and the PX are nearby as are shopping, dining, arts and entertainment in downtown Fayetteville.

To learn more about senior assisted living at The Carolina Inn, log onto www.CarolinaInnNC.com. Or, call (910) 829-0100 to schedule a tour.

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