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The Healing Power of Music in Memory Care Wellness Program Continues to Expand at Franklin Park Memory Care Provides Peace of Mind for Families and Residents

The Healing Power of Music in Memory Care Mabel, a Franklin Park memory care resident, greets staff and fellow residents with a smile, a sparkle in her eye, and a big hug. She frequently expresses to the staff how much she loves them, and her common refrain is, “This is the best place. I just love it here.” That wasn’t always the case. When Mabel first came to Franklin Park she was anxious and wanted to leave. She didn’t understand why she wasn’t in her own home. Mable has since come to feel comfortable here amongst her new family of staff and residents, thanks to her strong faith and passion for music. Music provides spiritual solace

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for people of all ages and conditions, but is particularly therapeutic for people with dementia. Because music is stored throughout the brain, not in one isolated area, it can be enjoyed even if the disease has eliminated other cognitive functions. Through this quirk of biology, music offers those with dementia a way to be present in reality for a few precious moments. Mabel recognizes most of the music she hears during devotionals. For the songs she does not recall, she is able to clap her hands or tap her foot to the beat. Prayer, particularly the Lord’s Prayer, can have similar effects as music, due to the regular patterns and rhythms of the language. Although Mabel strug-


gles to finish a sentence without mixing up words or sounds, she recites the Lord’s Prayer flawlessly along with our chaplain. When the prayer ends, she says, “Thank you, thank you.” These spiritual experiences Mabel has with music are uplifting and meaningful for her, but they’re also meaningful for the staff and myself. She will soon forget that she sang and prayed. But for those moments, she connected with herself, her faith, and her God. We are blessed by moments like these as a daily occurrence in Franklin Park memory care.

~Jane Runge Community Administrator

Wellness Continues to Expand Two years ago, we launched the Wellness Program at the Franklin Park Health Center to help residents remain strong and independent as possible. Today I am happy to report that the program is going strong— in fact better than ever, thanks to an expanded class schedule. The newest class offering is an exercise class for memory care residents. Six days a week wellness staff visit the memory care center to help residents perform manageable exercises in a comfortable, structured and familiar setting. Many of the residents in memory care are fully able to walk independently and by participating in the wellness program they have the opportunity to engage in other forms of exercise in order to help keep their muscles healthy and strong. Through the expanded Wellness program residents remain mobile and healthy no matter what their age or condition. The classes also provide a time for group interaction, not only between the residents but also with the staff who often jump in and get a little exercise themselves!

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The Community at Franklin Park along with the other ABHM Communities believe a vital component of successful aging is remaining engaged both physically and mentally. At Franklin Park we look forward to the continued success of the wellness program and seeing the positive impact it has on residents.


I would like to thank the staff and departments that continually collaborate and support the program to truly make wellness a community effort.

~TJ Sherley Wellness Director

Residents an Finding Peace of

Memory Seniors are living longer and more independently than ever before. However, with longer life comes an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. Sufferers of these diseases face a progressive decline in cognitive and physical capabilities, resulting in the gradual loss of independence and eventual need for intensive daily care. To meet the growing need, senior living communities all over the country have been adding additional facilities and services dedicated to memory care, making a clear difference in quality of life for seniors—and their family members. When Mary Brockington, a resident at the Community at Franklin Park, was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she still lived at home with her husband Fred. Initially her family took care of her at home, but eventually it became clear that she needed professional care. According to her daughter, Caralynne, Mary had reached this point before moving to Franklin Park. “She would start packing everything and would start to try to go home—but she was home,” Caralynne describes. “She didn’t want anyone’s help, but we realized that it might start getting dan-

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gerous and we wanted to keep her safe.” A relative with memory loss can be a constant source of stress for family members, caregivers, and loved ones. Each day is fraught with communication challenges, difficulties performing routine tasks, and the risks associated with confusion and forgetfulness—such as the tendency to wander away and become lost. Before settling into Franklin Park, Mary first moved into another facility. However, it soon became clear that she required more advanced services than they could provide. Her family moved Mary to Franklin Park, where she has her own private room and receives one-onone care from nursing staff. The move to Franklin Park has been a wonderful experience for both Mary

nd Families f Mind Through

y Care and her family members. “I try to visit every day,” Caralynne says, “but I call to check in on the days that I can’t go myself. The staff are diligent about keeping us posted on how she’s doing that day and her overall progress. They have all been very personable and seem dedicated to their work.” Because social interaction plays an important part in managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Franklin Park and the other ABHM communities provide extensive activities and programs designed to connect and engage with memory care residents. By keeping loved ones involved with favorite hobbies and activities, caregivers and family members can help them improve mood and memory—and possibly even slow the process of cognitive decline. Mary, a lifelong social butterfly, is certainly seeing the benefits of staying active at

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Franklin Park. “During our visits we sit and talk, we sing songs, and we pray,” says Caralynne. “We choose our activities based on her mood, but we have been able to continue many of the activities she used to love. She’s been adjusting well to the community. She seems content.” The support Franklin Park and all ABHM communities provide isn’t limited to residents. Caralynne and her family have been attending a monthly support group at Franklin Park throughout Mary’s time there. “Ever since she was first diagnosed, we have been going to seminars to learn more about the illness,” says Caralynne. “The speakers at Franklin Park have been really helpful in educating us about what has been going on with our mom. It makes our journey a little easier to understand what she’s experiencing.” To learn more about memory care at Franklin Park, call Sydnay Reardon at 303-832-9323 or email at


Franklin Park Residents Enjoy a Beautiful Outing to the Butterfly Pavilion

Recently three residents from the Community at Franklin Park— Zula, Carrie, and Jerry—were joined by three staff members for an outing to Denver’s Butterfly Pavilion. The morning began with big breakfast at a local diner where the delicious aromas emerging from the kitchen inspired us to order with gusto, enjoying waffles, eggs, and oatmeal. Everyone was looking forward to the day and Zula captured the high spirits around our table as she danced to the music while sipping her coffee. As our delightful breakfast began to wind down our server informed us that our bill had been paid by another customer in the restaurant. Needless to say we were surprised and overcome with emotion. I wondered what moved a stranger to make such

Throughout the day there were several more memorable moments such as the butterflies landing on Jerry’s sleeve, which brought a smile to his face, and the one that remained on his head, without him realizing it, causing Zula to double over in laughter.

a kind gesture. Was it because he saw the care Peter, an LPN, took while assisting Carrie with her meal? Maybe Harriet’s patience when she took the ladies to the restroom? Or perhaps it was the happiness that radiated from our table, made so apparent by Zula’s dancing? Our day had already contained more fun and surprises than we could have anticipated and we had not yet to reached our destination, the Butterfly Pavilion.

Carrie had been very quiet during most of the visit, however near the end Peter asked if she was ready to see the butterflies. Rising just a little from her seat she replied, “Oh yes. Let’s go. Are they expensive?” Her timing was perfect and gave us all a good laugh. This story is a good example of the activities we offer at Franklin Park as we continue to provide residents with choices that enrich body, mind and spirit.

Our Happy Bird and Her Happy Home

The beautiful birdhouse pictured here, was created by Carrie a 98year-old resident of Franklin Park. Carrie and several other people spent a great deal of time creating the birdhouse and the finished product is breathtaking.

During the initial stages of planning, Carrie was adamant that the birdhouse would look best decorated with buttons. To make sure Carrie had plenty of button to choose from, one of our wonderful volunteers at Franklin Park provided enough buttons to cover not only the bird house but entire building! With a vast array of choices in front of her Carrie began hand selecting each and

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every button to decorate the bird house—140 in all. Once the final buttons were selected Carrie went about arranging them to her liking.

However, before the buttons were attached to the birdhouse Carrie was given a variety of designs to choose from. After making her design choice the buttons were laid out on a table for final approval. Under Carrie’s careful supervision a volunteer then began to secure the buttons, one by one, onto the birdhouse. With all the buttons attached to the house in a perfect replication of the design, Carrie decided it


wasn’t quite enough. She then added ribbons and additional decorative touches until she felt the birdhouse was perfect. The finishing touch was the framed poem shown in the picture, which was the collaborative effort of three residents. Carrie, because of you, our happy bird has a happy home, and 140 reasons to sing her happy song!

~ Ashley Resident Services Director


The Community at Franklin Park

SKILLED NURSING MEMORY CARE ■ 11 private and 5 semi-private rooms


■ Specialized memory programs


■ Private dining room ■ Accept Medicaid and Medicare

• Health Center • Rehabilitation Stays 1535 Park Avenue, Denver, CO 80218

303-832-9323 Mtn. Vista is owned and operated by American Baptist Homes of the Midwest, a not-for-profit provider of senior health care since 1930.

Now You Can Support The Community at Franklin Park Online Just visit The Community at Franklin Park’s website at and click on the “Foundation/Donations” button. Here you will find information about the many ways you can contribute and become part of our tradition of quality care and service. Please visit us online and learn how you can donate today. The Community at Franklin Park is owned and operated by American Baptist Homes of the Midwest, a not for profit provider of senior health care since 1930.

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The Community At Franklin Park 1535 Park Avenue Denver, CO 80218

The Community at Franklin Park is owned and operated by American Baptist Homes of the Midwest, a not-for-profit provider of senior health care since 1930.


The Community at Franklin Park is a faith-based, not-for-profit senior living community. Our mission is to create healthy Christian communities that empower older adults. We provide choices for housing, services, and technology that enrich body, mind and spirit.

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The Healing Power of Music in Memory Care Wellness Program Continues to Expand at Franklin Park Memory Care Provides Peace of Mind for Families and Residents


Franklin Park Newsletter Fall 2016  
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