Caring For Seniors Through Music

Caring For Seniors Through Music

music for seniors
The healing power of music for seniors

PWBC member Katherine Follain introduced us to Teepa Snow, an occupational therapist she had the pleasure of working with last year. Teepa’s work with the aged is distinguished by her use of music, it being a powerful force when it comes to helping the elderly thrive despite changes in their functioning and cognition. 

Teepa Snow explains that using music helps support the daily needs of people suffering from memory loss. It can be key to prolonging their independence and regaining their mobility. Having a schedule, movement, touch and organized activities that incorporate music by all indications is a valuable approach. Music is the last faculty to be lost or forgotten. Integrating it into structured daily activities can produce better outcomes. Seniors demonstrate strengthened abilities, improved cognitive functioning and even more lasting memories. Teepa knows that daily living skills need to be reinforced regularly to prevent the slide that dementia creates. Music makes these activities more enjoyable and can help strengthen the muscle memory for those who need it most.

Teepa teaches what is called the “hand over hand” technique to help residents maintain their movement and retain muscle memory. Physically touching them and molding their movements in a slow, repetitive motion is one way. Another is modeling how to eat, or how to pick up something. Combined with music, memories can be more lasting. For a patient suffering from dementia, just a few more weeks of independent mobility is a big victory.

We are living longer now. There is an increased need for care, specifically skill care to keep us as functional and as independent as possible. Teepa Snow and her research surrounding music and how it can help will continue to contribute to breaking ground in making our senior years more enjoyable for longer. Katherine is thrilled to support the work of Teepa Snow and others who fight to help seniors live and age with dignity.

Katherine Follain is a senior care specialist working at Cadence Senior Living Millbrae. Contact her at 650.742.9150 for more information about how she can help you make the critical decisions for the appropriate care of an elder.

Meet the Member

Meet the Member

Julie Parker of Blue Okra
The creative and conscientious Julie Parker!

Meet the Member! This blog is one in a series of posts dedicated to learning a little more about one of our PWBC members.

Julie Parker is a designer who is passionate about creating beautiful baby blankets and sleepwear that respect our environment and the people who make them. She feels that it’s very important to take care of our planet because our kids are growing up in it.. We teach them how to live in the world by practicing what we preach. She is working hard to get closer to her ideal of a completely eco-friendly supply chain that is 100% labor friendly.

Julie earned her degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Design, Los Angeles. She has worked in several capacities in the industry, from design assistant to patternmaker to designer. She recently combined several of her passions: her excitement for art and design, her love of babies, her concern for ecological and labor business practices and her fashion industry knowledge to create Blue Okra, an ethical baby blanket and sleepwear company. 

Currently, she has unbleached, undyed organic cotton blankets and sleepwear that are 100% USA made. The organic cotton is grown in Texas. Fabrics are made in the Carolinas and Pennsylvania. The products are sewn in California. Even her tags and packaging are eco friendly and made in California. She is currently working on new colors and prints that are being made in Thailand. Of course, they are made in a lovely fair trade shop and will be available soon!

Before they chose their fair trade sewing shop, she and her co-founder (husband John), visited them in Chiang Mai to learn more about how they run their ethical business. They were very impressed with the great working conditions – ergonomic chairs, flexible work hours, pay that is well above a living wage in their city. Everything from the open and pleasant working environment to how hard they work toward zero waste was impressive. Also, they provide medical and dental care. In addition, the sewing shop gives spare fabric to women in their community. This allows them to use the sewing machines so they can make things to sell in the local market.

Julie has been a member of PWBC for nearly 2 years and has really enjoyed getting to know other members. She has seen their hard work and dedication to their businesses and has learned a great deal from them.

Julie also enjoys gardening, cooking and is a competitive rower. She and John recently moved to Napa. Once Covid is under control they will enjoy getting together with friends and family from all over the San Francisco Bay Area.