Music Therapy in Nursing Homes
Music therapy is a practice that encourages communication, expression and elicits powerful feelings in people. It requires special training and qualifications to practice, making it an effective treatment option for many different health conditions and disorders.
According to a study published in BMC Geriatrics, residents with dementia who received music therapy experienced improved symptoms and wellbeing. They also demonstrated reduced disruptiveness towards staff.
Though music may not seem like the obvious addition to a nursing home’s therapeutic program, it’s becoming an increasingly popular option among many facilities. Not only does it provide your seniors with an enjoyable activity, but it can also help your staff provide better care and boost the overall quality of life at their senior living facility.
Music can be an incredibly beneficial tool to support health and well-being of patients, a practice that has been practiced for centuries. Studies have even demonstrated its positive effects, such as increased self-worth and decreased anxiety levels.
Individualized music therapies tailored to each patient’s preferences and needs are one of the most successful forms of music therapy. The style and genre chosen is determined by a patient’s preferences, circumstances and objectives.
At Stone Creek Long Term Care Facility in Asheville, North Carolina, residents have the option to select from an array of music genres such as classical, blues and contemporary. “We meet with each resident and their families to identify their favourite songs so we can customize a program tailored specifically for their needs,” states Lifestyle Team Leader Yvette Connolly.
At Stone Creek Nursing Home, CNAs offer personalized music selections as well as two singing and music-with-movement activities per week. These are usually held in a private lounge or room and last anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes in duration.
Singing can be a soothing activity that can be done with or without the accompaniment of an instrument. It stimulates several brain areas and encourages people to sing in their own voice or within a group setting, improving reminiscence, recall and other mental skills as well.
Addition of musical instruments to nursing homes can help improve moods and cognitive functioning. Offering residents a choice of instruments helps them feel more engaged with their community, which may even inspire them to be creative.
Additionally, having an experienced and respected music therapist involved in your program is essential. They will be responsible for creating the plan and guaranteeing it meets all necessary requirements.
According to research from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, music can reduce agitation and aggression among patients with dementia. As a result, the University is now leading an international music therapy project called Homeside that seeks to alleviate behavioural and psychological symptoms experienced by those living with dementia.