Older man plying piano with young girl and son.
Many seniors can benefit from music therapy. (Credit: Nitat Termmee / Getty Images)

In music, the cover band may not always be as good as the original, but covering music therapy could be a major mental boost for long-term care residents.

Longevity Health Plan now will provide coverage for the platform SingFit, which is offered to 500 senior living and care communities across eight US states.

SingFit is designed to offer therapeutic music for older adults with cognitive and mental impairments such as Alzheimer’s. The platform will be covered under Longevity’s Institutional Special Needs Plan, which is offered to its eligible Medicare-covered residents of skilled nursing facilities, the company announced this week.

Unlike traditional music therapy, SingFit’s users are encouraged to actually do the singing, using the platform for the word cues a la karaoke, SingFit’s website explains

SingFit’s various platform offerings are designed to facilitate the singing either in group settings, or with the aid of a caregiver.

“Longevity’s decision to approve the use of SingFit for its members is a historic moment for those suffering from cognitive issues,” SingFit CEO Rachel Francine said in a statement. “While many national health systems recognize the benefits of music, payers in the US have lagged behind. Longevity’s forward-thinking approach and how they leverage technology through breakthrough programs will accelerate the adoption of music as medicine.”

More senior living and care operators are turning to musical technology to help engage residents, for both therapy and entertainment. 

Wartburg Retirement Communities, which operates in Westchester, NY, recently partnered with Sage Stream to provide live music-focused programming to residents. For more practical purposes, a software system for stroke rehabilitation, InTandem, was released this summer, designed to synchronize users’ movements to a musical cue.

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