A music charity with over 25 years’ experience of working with care staff has released a new, free resource to – as it puts it – ‘inspire and encourage the use of music in dementia care’.
Music as Therapy International is a UK-registered charity which ‘believes in the power of music to strengthen care’. For over 25 years it has worked alongside people on the frontlines of care, offering training and support to help them introduce and embed music into the care they provide. The charity is now sharing a free resource for caregivers of people living with dementia, in the hope it will inspire and encourage them to introduce music into their day-to-day care routines. The charity’s director, Alexia Quin OBE, said: “There’s a wealth of research which evidences the proven ways music can have a huge positive impact on the lives and wellbeing of people with dementia. As well as reducing agitation and distress, music can join a fragmented existence together, giving people a sense of who they are in the here-and-now, and offer them ways to connect with those around them.
“This new resource is an accessible introduction for people who are interested in using music in the care they provide. With simple prompts, tips, and guidance, on what to look out for when using music, we hope we can inspire caregivers to give it a try – and see for themselves the impact it can have.”
The free resource, titled ‘Be inspired: The role of music in dementia care’ is designed to help readers explore the role that music can play in the care of people living with dementia. It includes ideas, questions, and inspiration, for choosing the right music to use, and things to look out for to help make the most of any shared musical experiences. The booklet’s content has been created as part of the development of a new online training course – titled ‘Music Helps’, that the charity is aiming to launch later this year.
‘Music Helps’ is an online training course created specifically to help caregivers working with people living with dementia. The interactive four-hour course comprises five chapters offering guidance, videos, exercises, and resources, to give caregivers an understanding of the role music can play in the care they provide, whether at home or in a residential setting.
Music as Therapy International says Music Helps has already been developed and run with caregivers in India for over 12 months. It explained: “The strong feedback from among more than 100 caregivers who have enrolled onto the course includes 100% of participants saying what they learnt from Music Helps has helped them get to know the person living with dementia better, and 97% feeling it has helped their own wellbeing.”
Anyone keen to learn more about the role of music in dementia care can view and download the new resource free from the charity’s website, www.musicastherapy.org, where they can also register their interest to be one of the first to gain access to the online course when it is launched.