Sing For Your Life
THE SILVER SONG MUSIC BOX
“The best equipment on the ward for many years”
This was the comment by a nurse working in a Kent NHS acute dementia unit following a 3 month trial of Tune Into Care’s Silver Song Music Box system.
Other comments from staff included:
“I’d never seen her speak until that session” and “When patients respond to song and dance I feel as if I am doing something positive which lifts my mood”
The system enables staff who are not trained musicians to provide regular sessions of participatory music. During the three month trial period 45 regular structured sessions were held. Comparing the number of incidents of ‘challenging behaviour’ affecting patients and staff which occurred in the 3 months prior to and during the trial, revealed a 76% decrease. The number of ‘incidents’ associated with 4 individuals whose behaviour was most challenging was reduced from 150 to 65.
Comments from relatives included how the music had a calming and relaxing impact on the ward and it provided them with a shared activity which is particularly valued when a loved one has limited speech.
“It’s a great conveyor of feelings and something you can do together”
Singing is most effective when it is used as a therapy rather than for entertainment. The maxim is “A Little and Often” and users who have included short singing sessions in the daily routine have found that the overall atmosphere in the home is improved. Residents are happier so staff are happier – residents are less depressed and staff are less stressed.
Cost and the availability of musicians restricted singing to occasional sessions which were intended to entertain. The introduction of the Music Box system, a 21st Century version of the Victorian pianola, enables care homes and support groups to provide singing activities on demand at minimal cost,
The Music Box system is not only being used in specialist Dementia units but to support people living with other long term conditions. The ability to vary pitch and speed is particularly useful for people who have speech problems caused by Parkinsons Disease or who are affected by stroke.
Community Centres and Voluntary Groups who provide venues or assistance to local community support groups are finding the Music Box system to be a useful and popular addition to their equipment pack
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Sing For Your Life