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The High School for Health Professions is taking action to improve the overall health of elderly in the Orangeburg community.

The Health Occupations Students of America chapter and The Knights of the Sound Table band, under the direction of Dr. Donald Lee, collaborated with the Longwood Plantation Assisted Living Community to take music to residents there from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 16. Residents enjoyed listening to holiday music performed by the band.

HSHP strives to establish music therapy as an innovative approach to healthcare being practiced by students in the community. Music therapy is an established health profession in which music is used therapeutically to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals.

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Carol Livingston, activity coordinator at Longwood Plantation, said this was not the first time music has been used to reach their residents.

“Music is a very important part of our program. It is something that reaches every resident. It takes them back to fond memories that they may have experienced during different eras in their lives," Livingston said. "We received very positive feedback from residents after this event, and we look forward to working with the High School for Health Professions in the future.”

Last fall, HSHP was invited to participate in the annual “Rock to Remember” fundraiser held by Longwood Plantation. The  event involves residents rocking in chairs to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia for the South Carolina Alzheimer’s Association.

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