Music Therapy Program

IVH Music and Memory Program

The Indiana Veterans’ Home has taken a very unique and hands on approach with its music therapy program. In September of 2015, several staff, including music therapist Charis Vander Plaats, were given the opportunity to become “Music and Memory” certified. IVH is a “Music and Memory” certified nursing facility as well. The completion of a three day training gave them the information they needed to start up a new program that allows residents to use an iPod and have their very own personalized playlist. Because of the size of IVH, the hours needed to implement the program, and funding needed for the purchase of iPods and iTunes gift cards, the program has slowly been working to make its way to reach each resident.

The goal for “Music and Memory” is that each resident will have access to an iPod with music they remember and identify with. The volunteer department has also been working side by side with Music and Memory, utilizing Purdue University students as they volunteer their time interviewing residents and learning all they can about each residents personal music tastes. The interviews are used to create the perfect musical playlist for each resident.

The music therapy program at IVH has also been very active in providing each unit with weekly entertainment. Charis brings guitar, ukulele, piano, and singing to the units on a weekly basis. Charis works to provide the residents with music they know and love. Special care is given on the Alzheimer’s units to provide residents that suffer from severe dementia opportunities to sing alongside her, and at times playing percussion instruments, playing the piano, and encouraging dialogue when the music and words promote memories. The Mitchell Dining Hall is also a frequent location for music as Charis plays the piano with well-loved melodies during their dinner meal once per week.

At IVH we believe music is therapy. Residents also enjoy the many musicians that come and entertain them throughout the months.