Exceptional Senior Living is excited to announce and welcome Dr. Shannon Bland as our Memory Care Director. Shannon has a PhD in Gerontology from the University of Kentucky as well as a Masters of Music Education with an emphasis in Music Therapy from the University of Kansas.
Shannon plans to bring her love of music into the daily programming at Exceptional Senior Living. As a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) through the Certification Board for Music Therapists, she knows that if it's not familiar, it doesn't work. "Music and reminiscing go hand in hand," she said. "Finding out what music our residents enjoy is extremely important to the success of any music and memory program. This age group typically enjoys music from the 30s, 40s and 50s as well as traditional gospel music, but it's about taking the time to find out what works for them."
According to the Alzheimer's Association®, music can serve as a helpful enrichment tool for people living with Alzheimer's disease. Studies have shown music may reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues that are common in the middle-stages of the disease. Music can also provide a way for people to connect with someone living with Alzheimer's, even after verbal communication has become difficult.
Shannon will also be introducing other creative and unique experiences, such as her science for seniors experiments to the Exceptional Senior Living Memory Care Neighborhood, as well as animal therapy. "A successful memory care program has both structure and flexibility with activities that work the mind and the body," said Shannon. "Being around older adults has always been my passion and I'm on this exceptional journey with them, every step of the way."