No matter how old we are, music can play an important role in supporting our wellbeing. It might be through active participation, for example in a choir, playing in a band or simply singing in the shower, or perhaps more receptive through listening to music. Music has the power to evoke a memory, to stir an emotion in us, to create a desire to move and dance; it stimulates a response. Really importantly, for those who have a cognitive impairment music is proven to stimulate responses in all parts of the brain, so music and music therapy can play a vital role in supporting their physical and emotional wellbeing.
Music therapists working within a care home might be supporting individual clients and could be holding music therapy groups supporting residents together. Through music therapy we are looking to help support someone in maintaining cognitive, physical and communication skills, and to support emotional wellbeing. Music therapy is proven to reduce agitation and to be more cost effective than many other interventions used in care homes.*
Music can also be used to support residents in everyday living, such as getting dressed or walking to the dining room, and a music therapist can help advise care staff how to use music effectively thereby helping reduce anxiety and distress around these activities.
No matter how someone is able to participate, whether it’s through singing, playing, tapping a hand or foot, or just responding through their eyes, music therapists observe and respond to support a meaningful and equal relationship. For those who are finding it challenging to communicate, music often allows us a glimpse of the person inside, and to focus on what they have, rather than on what they have lost.
If you would like to find out more about bringing music or music therapy into your care home, please do get in touch.