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 Customers Demanding Personalized Music In Nursing Homes, Survey Finds

More than four-fifths of potential nursing center customers would prefer to head to a home that offered personalized, digital music devices such as an iPod, a new survey has found.
 
Researchers at Software Advice, a marketing firm, quizzed nearly 1,600 adults in online surveys and asked them how important iPods would be in placing a loved one in a nursing home. The results were nearly staggering: 83 percent said they would favor a nursing home that offered residents personalized music over a home that didn’t.
 
Many of the respondents said they would think about moving outside their current cities to a home in another city if it offered iPods, Software Advice says. More than half said they’d even pay more for a home if it offered iPods.
 
“Our findings show that digital music integration has the power to influence nursing home selection,” Software Advice said in announcing its survey results.
 
Software Advice’s results come as “Alive Inside,” a documentary on the seemingly miraculous effects of personalized playlists on those elderly suffering from dementia, tours the country. The nonprofit group Music & Memory has been a driving force in bringing person-centered care into the 21st century, and it is one of the heroes of “Alive Inside.”
 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researcher Jung Kwak, who has studied Music & Memory’s effects, said that digital music players answer a critical need for those seeking to offer person-centered care. Playlists “are based on residents’ personal history, something they can enjoy that can be beneficial to their quality of life.”
 
Software Advice’s findings will no doubt be music to the ears of Jack York, founder and president of It’s Never 2 Late, a company that sells person-centered software packages to skilled nursing and long term care centers. Sitting down with Provider for a taped interview at the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living 65th Annual Convention & Expo in October, York said that he thinks that care companies are spending too much money on “operational” software.
 
“It’s about the business realities of running a nursing home, which I totally get,” he said. “But the person’s soul can be totally left out of that equation.”
 
York, who spoke at the convention, challenged providers to set aside 5 percent of their technology budgets and—rather than give it to the information technology department—hand it over to their activities director.
 
Bill Myers is Provider’s senior editor. Email him at wmyers@providermagazine.com. Follow him on Twitter, @ProviderMyers. 
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