Bridging the Opportunity Divide

Why Do These College Students Live in a Retirement Home?

December 11, 2014
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Why Do These College Students Live in a Retirement Home?
Marissa Plank, 24, performs at the Judson Manor Retirement Community in Cleveland, Ohio. Screen capture via CBS
The Cleveland Institute of Music has a heartwarming way to get young people to connect with local seniors.

There are some unlikely residents at the Judson Manor Retirement Community in Cleveland, Ohio: millennials.

Thanks to an innovative program from the Cleveland Institute of Music, three students get to stay rent-free at the center in exchange for monthly performances.

But as you can see in the video below, these youngsters aren’t just saving money and practicing a little Bach, they’re also making a difference in the lives of older adults.

ALSO: This Unique Education Initiative Connects Lonely Seniors to Chatty Teens

Music is not only a form of entertainment, it also has healing powers. As AgingCare.com points out, music therapy can help with numerous conditions, including Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, Parkinson’s and more. For example, music can help an aging adult who is struggling with memory loss, because familiar melodies helps them recall past events.

“The young people do a lot for us,” a Judson Manor resident tells the CBS Evening News. Another adds, “They bring us alive!”

There should be more programs like this around the country.

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