Butler County Care Facility
“The work I’ve done on the project has enabled me to enhance my professional development skills, become more comfortable working with residents of all abilities, and become a quick problem solver.”
My internship took place at the Butler County Care Facility in Hamilton, OH. My focus there was to implement an activity program that would specifically target the residents living in the memory care unit. Due to the shortage in activity staff and the age of the facility, innovation and creativity were extremely important when choosing an activity for these residents. This led me to the certified Music & Memory program where I took the initial steps in introducing the program at the facility. I contacted the Music & Memory Program, attended webinars, interviewed residents, reached out to community groups for iPod donations, downloaded music onto computers, and created a resource binder with information to help maintain the program. Butler County Care facility was interested in bringing Music & Memory to its facility because they wanted to have a special program dedicated to their memory patients. They also realized the effect that music therapy can have on those who are cognitively impaired and wanted to hopefully improve the quality of life for some of their residents. The project stayed very consistent throughout my internship. I did face an initial obstacle with difficulties contacting the Music & Memory program. After those were resolved I also was disappointed that I couldn’t interview more residents and that iPod donations that were requested were never actually brought in.
The work I’ve done on the project has enabled me to enhance my professional development skills, become more comfortable working with residents of all abilities, and become a quick problem solver. Along with being able to present at the OAGE conference, I have been able to showcase myself to graduate school programs as someone who has hands-on experience and a great work ethic. What I learned the most about participating in my internship with Music & Memory was that even those with significantly low cognitive or physical abilities can find meaningful activities to fill their life. While listening to music seems like a simple task, it is a wonderful tool to stimulate brain activity and decrease depression in those with dementia. My internship and the Ohio Scholars in Aging program have really taught me how to work with diverse groups of people and how to present myself as a passionate gerontologist.