Research and activities coordinated by college students are improving the social interaction for residents of Arbor Springs Health & Rehab Center in Opelika.
Two teams of students from the Auburn University Department of Communication Disorders visit Arbor Springs twice a week for three months. On the first two visits, students observe and make notes about each resident’s social interactions during a group activity that doesn’t contain music. After reviewing their notes with Assistant Professor Dr. Aurora Weaver, the students developed planned activities to engage the residents in music-based motor, sensory, listening and language skills.
In this video, Activity One involves residents following the beat of a drum. Activity Two is a sing-a-long accompanied by a piano. Students observe and record the changes and improvements in each resident’s social interaction after each activity.
“I can tell the residents benefit from the interaction with the students,” Arbor Springs Director of Resident Services Shawna Swanson said. “The students bring the right tools and make the activities simple, so residents of any ability can participate. Personally, it makes me feel great to see how our residents respond.”
The program started two years ago. Nursing homes interested in learning more can contact Arbor Springs Health & Rehab Center at (334) 749-1471.