I recently asked this question of eldercare professionals in the Soundscaping Source community and on LinkedIn:
What Do You Want To Know About Music In Caregiving?
Many people graciously filled out a five-question survey to help answer this question. In this post, I’ll share the results of this survey, and at the end, I’ll tell you all about TWO special opportunities for getting yourself and your own organization sharing more music with the seniors you care for.
The 52 respondents to this survey work in a variety of eldercare settings, with many people serving in more than one area:
Participants were invited to answer the open-ended question, “what do you want to know about using music in eldercare? Why?” Questions fell into a few categories:
How To Empower Caregivers
“How to encourage caregivers (CNAs, etc) to use music in their day to day routines.”
“How to develop programs that are relevant for the older adults in the group, but current/modern/hip enough to maintain the interest of the staff and administrators.”
“I’d like to be more proactive in using volunteers and CNAs in music programs.”
Program Logistics, Costs, and Benefits
“How does this program look? How is it documented? … We are always looking for innovative programs to help our patients heal.”
‘”How is music therapy a cost effective form of care in hospice?”
“What evidence behind [this program] says it works for hospice patients? What does it do for the patient?”
“How to use it economically and effectively?”
Music-Related Best Practices
“What is the best type of music and the best instruments?”
“More ideas on using music to encourage participation by lower-functioning clients.”
“How to use effectively for coping and for relaxation“
Program Areas of Interest
Respondents were also asked their level of interest in several different music program options:
- Developing an individualized listening program (iPod project)
- Recruiting volunteer musicians and using them well
- Training staff caregivers to use recorded music for reminiscence and enjoyment
- Training staff caregivers to use recorded music for exercise or ADLs
- Training social workers and chaplains to use music in counseling interventions
Across the board, survey participants expressed an interest in learning more about all of these different music program options. Although there was some variation based on the needs of different kinds of organizations, the most important finding was this:
Eldercare professionals want to empower staff to use music in meaningful ways with their clients.
This is AWESOME. Just think of how many more older adults out there could be having meaningful music experiences, and how many caregivers could experience the joy of sharing music with the people they care for!
Do you want to get your organization’s caregivers sharing music with your clients?
I LOVE helping eldercare professionals do just that, and that is why I’m offering a FREE webinar next Monday, especially for hospice and home care professionals. In this webinar, I will show you my three step formula for starting a palliative music program – one designed to promote one-to-one musical interactions between caregiving staff and patients.
I’ve also got a special program coming out soon especially for folks who want to learn the basics of using music in caregiving, both for groups and in one-to-one sessions. If you are an activity professional or recreation therapist, or if you work in senior living or adult day programs, this program is especially for you.
Get on the list to be the first to hear all about it.
Let’s start making more music happen with our seniors!