Heart & Soul
Heart & Soul is a music engagement program that caters specifically to residents living in long-term care (LTC) and retirement homes. This program involves 45-minute visits that are facilitated by a small group of IMHope staff and volunteers. During each visit, facilitators and participants play music that is generation-specific, familiar, and engaging to residents. Heart & Soul visit coordinators create an interactive and positive space that encourages residents of LTC homes, retirement homes, day programs, and other settings to actively contribute to the music-making process. Music acts as a vehicle for forming links between residents and clients who may not usually interact meaningfully.
Heart & Soul leverages the association between music and meaningful memories stored deep within the brain. Memories associated with music are often the last to deteriorate in neurodegenerative diseases such as age-related cognitive decline, and dementia. Using iconic songs from across the lifespan, the Heart & Soul team provides opportunities for residents to reminisce and feel a sense of knowing and belonging. The Heart & Soul program creates many meaningful moments, which leave residents feeling a sense of happiness from newly recovered memories, independent of cognitive challenges they may experience.