Weinberg Village Partners with USF School of Aging Studies

Weinberg Village has partnered with USF’s School of Aging Studies to participate in a multi-week music-based program. The purpose of the study, supported by the Florida Department of Health, is to determine how a group music program for residents living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD) can help them reduce their neuropsychiatric symptoms and reduce the risk of hospitalization. 

The University of Southern Florida School of Aging Studies conducts significant research on applied aging to improve clinical practice, public policy, and the wellbeing of older adults and their families. Our partnership offers a unique view of the emotional connection between music and meaningful memories. 

Dr. Honda Menh, a Professor in the College of Behavioral & Community Sciences at the University of South Florida, is leading the study. Weinberg Village is one of 16 assisted living communities in the Tampa Bay area participating. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Studies have shown music may reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues that are common in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s. Even in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, a person may be able to tap a beat or sing lyrics to a song from childhood. Music provides a way to connect, even after verbal communication has become difficult.

At the beginning of each session, memory care residents will participate in a brief stretching exercise in a seated position. The residents will then view up to 20 music videos from various genres chosen by the USF School of Aging researchers on a large-screen TV. The residents will provide verbal feedback in response to the group facilitator’s questions regarding the videos presented.

USF researchers will evaluate each recorded session off-site, including the residents’ level of engagement and affective responses, such as facial expressions, body movement, and voice. This will enable the researchers to understand which video worked best for which resident. 

Participation from Weinberg Memory Care residents is voluntary. There is no cost and no compensation to participate. If the findings from the study are published, all research study information from each resident is kept private and confidential. 

Weinberg Village continuously seeks partnerships that benefit our residents, who can actively participate in their health. By helping researchers discover new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, our residents can take part in cutting-edge research programs. We look forward to participating in future studies and growing our relationship with USF.

Learn more about the School of Aging Studies at The University of Florida and their Positive Aging Lab, a research laboratory devoted to developing and testing integrative health and social engagement interventions to promote health and wellbeing among middle-aged and older adults. 

Jack Ross

In October 2020, Jack Ross rejoined the Florida Israel Business Accelerator (FIBA) team as President of the FIBA Venture Fund Initiatives, as well as Chief Impact Officer of the Tampa JCCs and Federation. He has led for-profit and nonprofit ventures, as well as several entrepreneurial endeavors.