York Region , Ont. June.28th. This past year has been devasting, especially for aging adults. Many have endured extreme isolation, losing loved ones and worry over their future. As the Director of Community Relations of the local Home Instead, I also witnessed how connection, kindness and compassion made a huge difference for our clients.
While we know we can’t serve every older adult in our community, we want to help as many as we can. That’s why we’re partnering with the Alzheimer Society of York for Home Instead Charites’ Give65 Event – a 65-hour online giving event exclusively for charitable organizations serving aging adults. This year’s event is July 13 – 16 at Give65.ca.
We’ve experienced the impact this organization has on the aging population and the value they bring to our community. During this year’s Give65 Event, Alzheimer Society of York is raising funds for their music project. A testimonial from someone who has experienced their music program and more information on their Music Program.
This is amazing. I am hearing it in stereo all around me. This is beautiful." These are the words from Feroze Mohammed, who lives with Alzheimer's disease, after receiving an MP3 player with a playlist of 100 songs from the Alzheimer Society of York Region (AS York) and The Music Project.
After applying for and receiving confirmation about being accepted into the program, which provides an MP3 player, a customized playlist and headphones for free to York Region residents living with dementia, Feroze and his wife Jennifer Dance Bowen spent an afternoon picking out the songs Feroze wanted on his player.
"Ours truly is a personalized playlist of 100 songs," said Jennifer who said was pleased about the variety of music to choose from the "old crooners" to opera, big band, blues and soul. Feroze's MP3 player contains John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads; Momas and Popas' California Dreamin' and James Taylor's You've got a Friend, among others.
Music is said to increase happiness and mental well-being in people living with dementia, improve communication, sleep, mood and overall quality of life. Because music taps into different parts of the brain, "musical memories are often preserved", according to the Mayo Clinic.
"Feroze has always enjoyed listening to music. It lifts his mood, gives him an activity and gives us a way of communicating since songs bring up memories that we can talk about," Jennifer said.
While the Music Project is free, each unit costs AS York $200. AS York fundraises to provide MP3 players to people who are socially isolated due to their disease in addition to the affects of COVID-19.
Especially during this past year, the Alzheimer Society of York adapted so they could continue to serve their vulnerable clients in a meaningful and safe way. These changes were critical, but they also created unexpected expenses that impacted their budget.
As part of the Give65 Event, Home Instead Charities is providing up to $55,000 in matching grants and $20,000 in bonus grants to inspire giving on a greater level. The need to support this organization is greater than ever and now donations have the chance to be doubled.
The Home Instead Offices in York Region and the Alzheimer Society of York would love the opportunity to spotlight the fourth-annual Give65 Event and highlight the programs and services making a difference in the lives of aging adults in Richmond Hill & Vaughan.
To learn more about the Give65 program, please visit Give65.ca. For more information about the Alzheimer Society of York please visit GIVE65 or Alzheimer Society of York Region. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Ashley McGrain at Home Instead Charities: Ashley.McGrain@HomeInsteadCharities.ca.
Director of Community Relations
Home Instead York Region.