Pueblo Norte Senior Living Incorporates Music Therapy into Memory Care Program for Advanced Treatment

Memory Care Director Suzanne Huebner Uses Years of Music Expertise to Comfort Individuals with Alzheimer’s and Dementia at Five Star Community in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Nationally top-ranked senior living community, Pueblo Norte Senior Living, is enhancing residents’ well-being throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area by offering music therapy within the memory care program. Suzanne Huebner, Memory Care Director at Pueblo Norte, leads the program with her expertise in music that spans decades. Suzanne’s love for music developed when she started playing the piano at the nursing home where her grandmother was a resident, a Swiss immigrant who reverted to her native language and used music as a way to connect.

Music therapy for the cognitively impaired at Pueblo Norte includes group sing-alongs and reminiscing activities, music bingo, resident performance, relaxation, and guided imagery, with the ultimate goal of engaging residents. The team incorporates personalized music playlists that can awaken the brain and spark happy memories that are associated with familiar songs. Recent studies have shown music may play a part in reducing agitation and decreasing behavioral issues that are common in the middle stage of the disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, music provides a way to connect, even after verbal communication has become difficult.

“Our community uses music to enrich the lives of our residents therapeutically, by recalling specific emotions or memories triggered by the music experienced throughout each individual’s lifetime,” said Suzanne Huebner, Memory Care Director at Pueblo Norte. “Hearing positive feedback from the residents, families, and team members is rewarding.  Observing residents actively engaged in music programs and responding positively to the music is incredible.”

Suzanne’s journey to Pueblo Norte started when she received her bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy from the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh. She then went on to spend 8 years in the Chicago area, working with developmentally delayed children. Additionally, Suzanne spent 30 years in Colorado and Arizona as an Activity Director with older adults. Her personality and commitment show in her inspiring Montessori approach, allowing each resident the opportunity to thrive under her direction.

Five Star Senior Living Inc. has been providing quality care and support to residents and their families for almost 25 years and continues to respond to the needs of older adults in the greater metropolitan area of Phoenix, with the addition of their memory care neighborhood in their Pueblo Norte community. The approach is to promote interaction, strengthen cognition, encourage self-expression, reduce agitation, and enhance each day.  To find a location near you, or learn more about Five Star Senior Living’s Pueblo Norte location, visit the website.

About AlerisLife Inc.:

AlerisLife Inc., based in Newton, Massachusetts, provides strategic direction and operational support to a national portfolio of nearly 150 senior living communities. Under the Five Star Senior Living and Ageility brands, we deliver residential, culinary, and health & wellness experiences designed to elevate both customer and team members satisfaction, all while furthering our mission to live life to the fullest and never stop advancing.