We are extremely thrilled that after 2 years of much effort with developing our Music in Dementia Care online training tool named ‘Music Helps’, it is finally ready and will be piloted tomorrow! A huge thank you to Nina Cherla for all her effort and time spent developing Music Helps and to everyone else who also played a part. A preview of Music Helps is available to see in the video below.

Music Helps first came about after a request for a training project from Pavithra Gangadharan, Founder of Kshetra Assisted Living by Heritage ElderCare Services Pvt. Ltd in India, leading us to embark on a new type of Introductory Training Project. Below you can read what Pavithra has to say about this course:

Dementia care-giving can be an overwhelming experience for caregivers. Over time, striking a balance between getting care-related activities done and staying sensitive to the moods/preferences of the care recipient, can become a constant struggle. While regular verbal communication may not always be effective, music, with its universal appeal and ability to transcend language, culture, and even cognitive status, can be a wonderful care-giving tool. 

We approached Music as Therapy International to help us create a training program which would further the use of music in dementia care-giving, beyond structured therapeutic sessions, to embed music as a foundational component of our care-giving culture. We are delighted to see that the online training program does just that!  With its explanations on how the care-recipient experiences dementia, relevant video examples of care-giving challenges, and specific pointers on how to use music in care-giving, the training program serves to sensitize the caregiver towards a more person-centered approach and encourages the use of creativity in care, both of which can lead to a more uplifting experience for the care-recipient and the caregiver. The best part is that while the content is simplistic, it is loaded with practicality, and can be easily absorbed by a wide range of caregivers across age-groups, cultures and intellectual backgrounds. 

We are really excited to be a part of this project and believe that this training tool has potential to support dementia-caregivers, not only in care facilities like ours, but also the ones determined to cope with dementia care-giving in their own homes. We are looking forward to promoting the program so that it may reach all those who can benefit from it! 

Pavithra Gangadharan, Founder of Kshetra Assisted Living by Heritage ElderCare Services Pvt. Ltd

Caregivers from Kshetra Assisted Living will participate in the course for the pilot, and subject to the pilot phase, we hope to eventually make this course more widely accessible across India to other dementia care settings, organisations and home-based caregivers of people living with dementia.

Below is a short preview of Music Helps: