KinderMusik, ElderCenter team up for pilot program, holiday fun
Special to SVLfreenews.com
Parents and children enrolled in Kindermusik with Gina recently visited the clients of ElderCenter Adult Care.
Kindermusik with Grandfriends is pilot program that provides inter-generational experiences using the Kindermusik curriculum. Local Kindermusik educator Gina Terry holds the classes at the ElderCenter bi-monthly as an added value to her families, and as an opportunity to build relationships within the community.
In December Kindermusik families enjoyed winter-themed lesson, at the end of which children delivered special gifts to all 19 seniors at ElderCenter.
The program encouraged ElderCenter members to participate in singing, dancing and playing percussion. The children, ages newborn to 4 years, and their parents shared a series of songs and dances which brought smiles to all who attended.
“This is a great opportunity for families to enjoy our learning experiences away from the classroom, to connect with an older generation in our community, and for the seniors to feel the joy of being around babies and toddlers," Terry explained.
Kindermusik is not only a powerful learning tool for children, it can also positively impact the mental and physical wellbeing of the elderly. Studies have shown that inter-generational social interaction decreases loneliness, delays mental decline, lowers blood pressure, and reduces risk of disease in seniors. Introducing younger children to the elderly has shown to increase the amount of smiling and conversation among older adults.
Wake Forest School of Medicine is currently investigating the physical and cognitive impact that Kindermusik, as a non-pharmacological intervention, can have on seniors, including those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. They have partnered with the Senior Services Williams Adult Day Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where the Kindermusik program was successfully piloted.
“My husband, who suffered a stroke many years ago, seems to light up just watching the kids romp, dance and play. It’s simply heart-warming to watch,” said Mary, a family member of ElderCenter. “I can’t say enough positive things about visiting programs like this that come to ElderCenter. The older adults just love children.”
Kindermusik International, the world’s leading provider of music-based education for children from birth through age seven, is based out of Greensboro. Since 1978, Kindermusik has helped millions of children across the globe build a foundation of learning. Gina Terry has been a Licensed Kindermusik Educator since 2004 and recognized by Kindermusik International on numerous occasions for Maestro in Education, Top Program, and Outreach.
ElderCenter Adult Day Care is Iredell’s only Community Adult Care for over 30 years, cares for individuals who can no longer stay at home alone or who seek social interaction and activities during the day. This facility is a community nonprofit born from a ministry to care for Iredell’s older and infirm individuals. In order to keep their rate at $40 per day, the nonprofit relies on donations, volunteers and outreach support. Daily costs are closer to $60 per day and the national average for adult care is at $75/day.
“We are reaching out to all churches, hospitals, and the public to share what we do here at ElderCenter. Our services not only serve our elderly clients, but affect their families so that they may continue to work and be productive outside the home, since they now have 7:30 am to 5 p.m. available,” explained Tammie Money, director of ElderCenter.
“Most individuals do not recognize the mental, emotional and physical challenge it takes to provide 24 hour care for an elderly person with memory impairment or physical disability. For example, one family member providing care for her daughter is 80+ years old. It is extremely taxing on her physically to do it all. Families with young children are at a greater risk of spending more time struggling with a parent with dementia while the young child does not understand why their mom can’t take them to an event or spend more time with them.”
To contact Kindermusik with Gina for more information, call 704-838-1010 or visit www.kindermusikwithgina.com
ElderCenter will be offering a free week for potential clients who qualify, financial assistance may be available. Call 704-873-0720 or visit www.ElderCenterAdultCare.org