Students at Saratoga Springs High School want to share the gift of music with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients at Wesley Health Care Center by donating iPods that will be loaded with music evoking memories of younger, happier days.
Emma Hyatt, a high school junior and founder of the school’s new Generation Outreach Club, along with club adviser and social studies teacher Tim O’Brien and other club members, are seeking donations that will equip 100 Wesley patients with iPods. Donations of both new and used iPods, as well as monetary contributions are requested, according to a school statement.
The Wesley Health Care Center is located on Lawrence Street in Saratoga Springs.
The iPod program was prompted by Music and Memory, a non-profit organization which helps Alzheimer’s and dementia patients reconnect with the world through memories that are triggered by familiar music. Since the program began in 2008, it has been implemented in more than 60 facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada.
“The music stimulates the brain and helps to alleviate stress in elderly people with dementia,” O’Brien said. He said the new high school club is the first of its kind nationwide.
The Generation Outreach Club has set up donation boxes at the high school on West Avenue and at the Greenfield, Lake Avenue and Geyser Road elementary schools.
All types of new and functioning used iPods are requested, but non-Apple MP3 players are not compatible with the music software and cannot be used.
Donations of headphones — not ear buds — are needed, and cash donations, as well as checks written to “Generation Outreach,” are also requested. The mailing address is Saratoga Springs High School, 3 Blue Streak Blvd., Saratoga Springs, 12866, care of Tim O’Brien, Generation Outreach adviser.
O’Brien said the iPods will be delivered to Wesley, where staff will load them for residents with “music of their generation.” For more information contact O’Brien at the high school, 587-6690, extension 3315 or by computer at firstname.lastname@example.org.