eldercare beyond the headphonesMusic and Memory has created a program to train healthcare professionals and caregivers to bring personalized music to elders using iPods and related technology. From what I have read, it is a wonderful program.

Yet, life is more than wearing headphones. Music is more than listening alone.

But,what do you do in eldercare beyond the headphones? In addition to the five music tips, consider these 6 ideas to move beyond the headphones.

  1. Engage with the listener about a song or two to which they listened. Soundscape Music Therapy has some great song spotlights to get you started.
  2. Sing some of their favorite songs with them. Being a great vocalist isn’t required.
  3. Dance or move to some of their music as it plays open air (through speakers).
  4. Share music with them around a topic similar to a song they enjoy. Here at Music Sparks we have shared a variety of themes including cards and letters, wind, men in songs, and the space race (just to name a few). If you need assistance with a topic, ask me!
  5. Try song writing with them. Some starter ideas can be found here and here.
  6. Together enjoy some quiet time holding hands or sitting in the sunshine. Too much music isn’t good.

Remember, board certified music therapist are here to assist you in assessing resident needs and interests. While you may not be able to include a music therapist on a regular basis, consider hiring one as a consultant.

To locate a music therapist in your area, visit the Certification Board for Music Therapists or the American Music Therapy Association. Both groups are there to ensure you find a qualified professional.

If you are in the Hays, Kansas area feel free to use the contact box in the page footer to reach me.

Sure, use the headphones….but also, move beyond them.