Valley News – Sunday Seniors: Custom CDs help older music fans mix things up

Published: Jan 14, 2023 21:31:59

Updated: Jan 14, 2023 21:28:43

Sharon’s new program reconnects seniors with the music they loved when they were younger.

Operated by the Sharon Health Initiative, Music for Elders offers seniors curated mix CDs for their musical tastes and portable CD players for seniors.

Carol Langstaff, a member of the nonprofit’s board of directors, said, “People[especially]who live alone or with others in their homes can become emotionally isolated, shut down, and more vulnerable. Depressed Director: “We found that when they[listened to]the music they loved when they were younger, they came alive. They get the memories and they just get better.” ”

Participants are interviewed by Dena Wilkie, who helps identify those who can benefit from the program through Sharon’s work as a community nurse. to Bob DiBartolo, who hosts the DiBartolo makes her 1 hour 20 minutes CD. He finds other songs that are similar, including songs suggested by participants.

“Some people like religious music. I added that it is one. “There are a lot of Glenn Miller fans out there.”

Some participants in the program wanted Shirley to be identified only by name.

“When I was asked what kind of music I liked, I always said I was a country fan,” said Shirley, who is in her 80s.

She grew up listening to country music and attended barn dancing in Fairlie and Orford, where she met her husband.

“I danced and sang and had a lot of fun,” said Shirley.

She likes listening to CDs by Don Williams, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton.

“That’s great,” said Shirley.

Langstaff was inspired to start the program after watching a YouTube video of the Alive Inside project. In these videos, elderly people, some with dementia, are engrossed in listening to and listening to music.

“I was really excited when I saw it,” said Langstaff, a musician. “It just guided my life and still does.”

About six people have participated in the program since its inception last year. The Central Vermont Council on Aging offered him a $3,500 grant to help fund it. CDs, CD players and headphones are also currently available at Sharon’s Baxter Memorial Library and Strafford’s Morrill Memorial & Harris Library. Langstaff hopes to extend the program to other communities in the area, his nursing programs and aged care facilities.

“I’m really excited about it,” said Langstaff. “It’s already working really wonders.”

Strafford is considering hiring a community nurse

Strafford is the latest Upper Valley community to launch a community nurse program.

Called Strafford Community Nurse, the program is funded by grants and private donations. It is run by the Board of Directors of the Strafford Community Nursing Programme.

The board is currently hiring a part-time nurse to fill that position.

As a way to raise funds, the board is holding a health raffle from late January to early February. People can buy tickets and get vouchers for health-oriented services and activities such as yoga, acupuncture, and flower arranging. Tickets are on sale at Coburn’s General Store in South Stafford and the draw will take place on Valentine’s Day.

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at or 603-727-3221.

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