Meet Louis LaCroix and Ghislaine Charbonneau
Despite being surrounded by people every day at Saint-Louis Residence, residents still find they can experience loneliness. Best of friends, Louis and Ghislaine said the Java Music Club created opportunities for them to develop a deeper connection and feel less lonely.
The Java Music Club is a place where residents come together to share their memories and experiences in reaction to music and images or objects. The weekly session often closes with a trip to the onsite pub where the conversations continue.
The two credit the volunteer-run, peer support program with their friendship.
This music program is grounded in its research. It was brought to Saint-Louis Residence by the Ontario Centre for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (CLRI) at Bruyère, one of three CLRI’s in Ontario.
The CLRI at Bruyère received funding* to implement the program in 38 long-term care homes and five retirement homes across Ontario. To study the overall health and social benefits of peer support groups, research was conducted at a subset of homes in collaboration with Carleton University’s Department of Health Sciences.
The study found that peer support in the Java Music Club led to increased feelings of happiness for participating members. Benefits of peer support also included creating valued social identity, increased levels of engagement, a greater sense of purpose and a better overall quality of life.
*Under the Knowledge Mobilization Partnership Project (KMP2
), funding was received from the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, with additional funding from Carleton University’s Department of Health Sciences and the Government of Ontario through the Ontario CLRI at Bruyère.