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|Nursing home residents benefit from ministry's efforts|
Nursing homes all across northeast Louisiana got a special treat of cassette tapes and CDS this week from West Monroe's Ministry of Inspirational Therapy.
Gloria Jones founded the group 19 years ago when her mother was living in a local nursing home. She wanted to bring more musical outlets to seniors to uplift their spirits through music.
Today, the group has provided more than 20,000 cassette tapes and CDS and thousands of tape players and CD players to 45 nursing homes in the northeast Louisiana region.
Over time, the Ministry of Inspirational Therapy has added to each of the nursing homes' music libraries.
"We work with the nursing home directors and activity directors to find music that is suitable for the residents," Jones said. "A lot of them love Jazz and classical music. We want it to be something they like and will sing along to."
This week is national nursing home week, and the group collected hundreds of cassettes, CDS and magazines to give to the residents.
"Our mission is to provide free materials to nursing homes and give them things that they can use," Jones explained. "We try to help them build up their libraries and give them things they can use in their group activities.
"This is just a means to try to get them more music and uplift their spirits. It's our hope to bring some joy and comfort to them. Music can be very therapeutic. They are always very excited to get these gifts and very appreciative.
"The real joy for us is to go to these nursing homes and visit with the residents. So many are hesitant to visit nursing homes. But, when we leave, they have just uplifted our spirits, too. So many have such wonderful stories to tell."
The Ministry of Inspirational Therapy accepts donations of any kind, Jones said. People can donate cassette tapes, compact discs, tape players, CD players or money.
It is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible, Jones said.
For more information about donations or the organization, call 388-0818, or 396-0634.