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Dustin Ziegler (Director of Community Programs with CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions) sits down with SongShape Director Rick Cobb to discuss the genuine difference a partnership like this can make in Indiana. 



What is the history of CICOA  Aging & In-Home Solutions and how does it accomplish 

its significant work?


What are some of the challenges Dementia Friends Indiana has identified in battling this disease? What have you learned in coming alongside family care partners as they provide unrelenting care for their loved ones?



Dementia Friends Indiana 

Jean Ross serves as a Dementia Friends Champion for Hamilton County. After serving as a critical care nurse for six year, she felt called to serve seniors and families by resourcing them with tools needed to age safely within their own communities. Jean's heart beats for nurses who desire to help our society outside the walls of a hospital. In our conversation, we discuss how to help the aging stay in their communities like they would want, how Dementia Friends Indiana in conjunction with CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions has resourced her in working with families, and the sociological and medical landscapes it relates to the aging in our country.  

In this second conversation with Jean, she touches on various topics associated with a dementia diagnosis:

  1. Dementia is a 2-person disease; we can easily forget the family care partner who takes on most of the brunt resulting in possible isolation.

  2. We're still trying to understand the disease. What is it about the process (stress and isolation) which brings ill effects on the care partner's own health?

  3. The power of doing the simple - getting out of the house and seeking the opportunity for connection. 

  4. The SongShape Chorus will create another layer of opportunities where someone can take their loved one affected by this disease and have this music-making experience, where they feel connected and supported. Working on music in preparation for a performance gives them purpose.


The SongShape Chorus is grateful for the partnership with Dr. Tim Brimmer (Butler University - Indianapolis) and Doug Everidge of SoundMinds. SoundMinds supports research and professional training programs that advance the quality of life foe the elderly and their caregivers. Current projects include prescribing music for rousing and calming, increasing physical, mental and health, reducing harmful noise levels and advancing hearing recovery. Tim and Doug have been invaluable in providing guidance and support to SongShape's endeavor to provide choral singing opportunities to those dealing with dementia and their care partners

In Part 2 of our conversation, Tim & Doug share the various ways SoundMinds brings music into an environment to help: 

  1. Personalized playlists 

  2. Live music & sing-a-longs

  3. Music & movement 

  4. Acoustic sensitivities 

In Part 3 of our conversation, we discuss how a choir specifically designed for those with dementia and their care partners would be a worthy endeavor. How can a choir meet the common need for engagement and socialization for these individuals?

PrimeLife Enrichment Center

Linda Handy is the Executive Director for the PrimeLife Enrichment Center in Carmel, Indiana. She graciously donated rehearsal space for SongShape to launch their inaugural season for 2019. PrimeLife Enrichment is a private, not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to providing services for and programs that promote independence, optimal wellness and socialization for those 50 and beyond. 

I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Linda about her organization and the role its played in enhancing the quality of life and meeting the evolving needs of older adults and their families in Central Indiana.

When was the moment you decided to dedicate your life to enhancing the quality of life and meeting the needs of our aging community?

What services does PrimeLife Enrichment Center provide? 

What does a typical week look like? 

In your interaction with older adults, what are you learning about their hopes, dreams and challenges? 

What would the future of PrimeLife Enrichment Center look like as it continues to accomplish its vision and mission?

How can people connect with you to find out more information about PrimeLife Enrichment Center? 

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Music Therapist -

Allegra Hein

Although SongShape is not a music therapy program, our chorus has benefitted greatly from music therapist, Allegra Hein (MM, MT-BC). Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. I had the opportunity to sit down with Allegra and discuss the role that music therapy plays in today's society. 

In Part 2 of our conversation, Allegra shares specifically how the gift of music can powerfully offer to older adults  diagnosed with dementia a way to connect with loved ones and their own stories. 

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