The MyMusic program involves creating personalised music playlists for residents which they can listen to using high-tech portable devices or watch on television.
Eldercare Dementia Excellence Program Facilitator Tanya Liddell said the trial was inspired by ‘a rapidly growing awareness of the benefits of music on the wellbeing of older people’.
“Eldercare staff work with family members to create personalised experiences for their loved ones and early results show that music is already having a positive impact on residents’ quality of life,” said Tanya.
“One resident listens to music through headphones almost daily and we’re seeing his wellbeing increase whilst another resident prefers to watch music on DVD because it incorporates both audio and visual elements.”
Eldercare Leisure and Wellbeing Program Manager Kay Goodman-Dodd said the program is being offered to all residents with a focus on individuals who are socially isolated, living with dementia, experiencing pain or receiving palliative care.
“Songs have incredible power – they can lift our spirits when we’re needing inspiration and can also remind us of times gone by,” said Kay.
“We believe this program has significant potential to support and improve resident wellbeing emotionally, cognitively, spiritually and physically.”
Staff from across Eldercare are collaborating on the trial including members from the Dementia Excellence Program, Lifestyle and Systems and Information Services teams.
Systems and Information Services Manager Shayne Hilton said teamwork was essential to ‘allow the vision and work of the Dementia Excellence and Lifestyle teams to be realised’.
“Technology is an enabler for the delivery of person-centred care and the MyMusic program is a living example of how we can enrich the lives of our residents when we come together as a team,” said Shayne.
“No one team could have achieved this but, by working together, we have delivered the vision of the organisation.”
The MyMusic trial will conclude at the end of May and will be introduced at all residential aged care facilities if it is proven to enhance resident wellbeing.
Image: Hilda Pomeroy enjoying listening to music through headphones.