by Gus Keach-Longo President, CEO, The Towers
Innovation has always characterized The Towers across its history. The organization has explored and embraced the most innovated way to help our residents continue growing, learning and celebrating their lives.
Once again, we are enhancing the way we deliver life-enriching programming to our residents. Thanks to a competitive national grant through the Association of Jewish Aging Services, The Towers will be among 15 communities across the country to run the evidenced-based intergenerational programs, Opening Minds Through Art and Memory & Music. These programs have been proven to effectively increase social connections and improve participants’ overall engagement with their communities. This three-year grant will provide Towers staff with specialized training to ensure that the programs have the greatest impact possible.
Opening Minds Through Art was founded by Dr. Elizabeth Lokon in 2007 and is grounded in person-centered care principles. Through this program, seniors, (artists) are paired with volunteers (students, families, caregivers) who are trained to rely on imagination instead of memory and to focus on remaining strengths instead of lost skills. “Opening Minds Through Art” enables people with cognitive decline to assume new roles as artists and teachers and leave a legacy of beautiful artwork.
Music & Memory is a non-profi t organization that brings personalized music into the lives of seniors to vastly improve their quality of life. Music and Memory trains staff and other care professionals, as well as family caregivers, how to create and provide personalized playlists using iPods/MP3 Players and related digital audio systems enabling those struggling with dementia and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories. The Jewish Aging Mastery Program is our third evidence-based program being introduced to The Towers in 2019. Developed by the National Council on Aging, this 12-session curriculum will engage experts from the community on topics ranging from fi nancial well-being and nutrition to sleep and healthy relationships. Results show that participants increased their physical activity levels, healthy eating habits, use of advanced planning, social connectedness, and participation in evidence-based self-management programs. The Towers has received grant funding through CT Healthy Living for this initiative beginning this May. These grant-funded programs will benefi t our entire community and you are welcome to be part of these exciting new efforts. We are looking for volunteers to help our residents in art classes or music sessions. You may be interested in joining our Jewish Aging Mastery Program to learn how to mindfully live your best life in the years to come. Or you may have the expertise to run one of these Master Classes. We invite you to join us!