Music does more than sooth the tension and stress of daily life. It also provides valuable therapy for those experiencing memory loss.

Buckingham Place, the area’s leading assisted living residence and adult day center, is adding music therapy to its many services supporting the elderly.

“It’s an emerging therapy. We’re working with people with early, moderate, and late-stage memory loss by helping them resurface memories long forgotten,” said Jen Chapin, director of programs and activities. “Music has a way of bringing residents to a place where they remember enjoyable, good times, while improving the quality of life now,” she said.

George Stevenson, minister of music and the arts at Trenton’s Redeemer Lutheran Church, provides the therapy for residents and day-program participants.

Chapin says the therapy creates an interactive, fun atmosphere. “I could see an impact right away. We know people who are suffering from depression and sleeping more. They became engaged and happier.”

Stevenson starts by learning which residents had played instruments in the past and what they know about music. “It’s very participatory,” said Chapin. “We have people with all different cognitive levels. What he does is therapeutic and really helps them sharpen their minds.”

Introducing new therapy programs is typical for Buckingham Place. “We’re continually looking for ideas that will enhance the quality of life for our residents and day-program members,” said Hilary Murray, director of marketing.

Buckingham Place’s 115 residents enjoy on-site programs, meals, therapy, recreation and many activities. The campus has a spacious, elegant room for about 20 people who attend The Social Day Club, a day program for individuals who may be socially isolated or have mild memory loss. Members of the club enjoy activities geared toward their interests and abilities.

Buckingham Place also houses a Medical Adult Day Program offering many programs and medical services. “We want to fully engage residents,” said Murray. “Here, residents meet others from their own generation, go to lunch together, participate in current events discussions, exercise and more.”

For example, Murray organized a Memorial Day event that included veterans from the South Brunswick Senior Citizen Center who visited Buckingham Place’s veterans for a lunch to reminisce about World War II. “It turned out some of the veterans had fought in the same battles or served in the same branch of the armed forces. The gathering let them relive events, and connect with others who share a similar history,” said Murray. “We plan to do this again in August.”

This is typical of Buckingham Place’s commitment to serving seniors. It offers a unique, friendly atmosphere that meets people’s social, housing, and medical needs.

Even the introduction to the assisted living community is unique because people can experience a trial stay before committing to moving. “We offer furnished apartments for temporary stays, so people can take their time, meet the staff, and experience what living in an assisted living community feels like, before making the decision. Future residents can meet current residents and see what an engaging, friendly place we’ve created,” said Murray.

For information about Buckingham Place, call Murray at 732-329-8888 or e-mail her at hmurray@buckinghamplace.net.

Buckingham Place. 155 Raymond Road, Princeton. 732-329-8888, 732-329-8813. www.BuckinghamPlace.net

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