March 18, 2016

Be Our Guest / Sr. Barbara Zeller, S.P.

Gift of iPods are a cherished blessing for residents of The Villas of Guerin

Last summer, The Villas of Guerin Woods, a 78-bed assisted living and skilled nursing facility in Georgetown, became a certified music and memory facility, only one of three in the Kentuckiana area. The music program is a national initiative to provide high quality, person-centered care through digital music technology.

Through this program and the use of personal playlists on personal iPods, elders can be reawakened by using their musical favorites to tap deep memories not lost to dementia, enabling them to feel like themselves. Drawing on the connection of music, emotions and memory, these playlists reach elders in ways other therapies do not. The familiar music has a calming effect, brings joy and vastly improves their quality of life.

While doing a clinical experience at the Villas, Melissa Vance, a nursing student from Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, witnessed the program and its effect on the eight elders living in our memory care villa. She recently gifted the Villas with 58 additional iPods, which she garnered from her family, friends and in a huge way through the community relations program of the Texas Roadhouse on Dutchmans Lane in Louisville, Ky., through the graciousness of Diana Ciersi, the restaurant’s community relations manager.

In gifting the Villas, Melissa wrote, “It was my pleasure to donate iPods to such a wonderful place. During my visit there, I saw so many great things that you do for your elders and I was so inspired. The music therapy got my attention the most, and I thought all of your residents deserved to have that magnificent experience.”

Additionally, Melissa commented of Diana, “She is very involved in outreach projects for our community, and thought this was a wonderful opportunity to be a part of.”

All of us associated with the Villas were thrilled with the graciousness of Melissa and Diana. As my heart swelled with awe and pride with this lovely gift, I was reminded of the words of the artist Josh Groban, “We have so much to be thankful for. Some days we forget to look among us. Some days we can’t see the joy that surrounds us.”

We at Providence Self Sufficiency Ministries and Guerin are showered and amazed every day with the goodness of too many individuals to count who, just as Melissa and Diana, through their friendship, loyalty and support tangibly show their belief in our mission. It is all these persons who help to bring the change and peace for which we all long.

I pray every day that God, the giver of all gifts, will continue to reveal his goodness to these individuals, and that his Spirit will rest gently upon all of us in this beloved community opening our eyes to see and our hearts to love so that his Providence will bring the outcomes that will bless those who are affected by our lives.

Again, in the words of Josh, “Our world needs so much, but there’s so much to be thankful for. … ”

(Providence Sister Barbara Ann Zeller is president and CEO of Providence Self Sufficient Ministries and Guerin, Inc.)

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