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Music charity inspires staff working in dementia care

A music charity with more than 25 years’ experience of working with care staff has released a new, free resource to 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 more than 25 years they have 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.

“Caregivers tell us that incorporating music into their caring relationships not only benefits the person living with dementia, but makes a positive difference to their own well-being. That said, it can feel daunting, given a lack of time, resources and confidence. But it can be simpler than you think.

“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 music can play in the care of people living with dementia. It includes ideas, questions and inspiration for choosing the right music to use, as well as things to look out for to help make the most of any shared musical experiences.

The content of the booklet 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 Helps has already been developed and run with caregivers in India for over 12 months. 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 well-being.

Anyone interested to learn more about the role of music in dementia care can view and download the new resource for free from the charity’s website, where they can also register their interest to be one of the first to gain access to the Music Helps online course when it is launched.

For more information, please visit www.musicastherapy.org.

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