MUSICAL ARMCHAIR TRAVELS FOREWORD
This splendid creative initiative Musical Armchair Travels, will surely be a fine catalyst for staff who work with elders in care, contributing significantly to their positive spirits and wellbeing.
Indeed, this training and resource package provides valuable commentary from leading experts involved in dementia care and the influence of creative leisure. Guidance is also provided regarding the assessment and needs of the ageing participants, and ways in which to conduct this Musical Armchair Travels program.
Most importantly, the package also provides details of how to evaluate the outcome of this program for the recipients.
The six compact discs included in the package provide a delightful selection of music which will evoke images of popular travel destinations, maximising happy memories, and in particular, minimising emotions of deterioration, especially for participants living with dementia.
A true role model of senior years, Mr Barry Hall OAM, a veteran entertainer and a fine pianist, has arranged and recorded almost 600 pieces of music which our seniors know and love.
It is heartening also to note the virtual endorsement of this form of therapy through music by a world-leading Australian academic in the field of ageing and mental health, Professor Henry Brodaty AO, who, together with Alzheimer's Australia and The National Prescribing Service has advocated non-pharmacological approaches for managing depression or dementia symptoms of the elderly in aged care.
Research in this field is confirming the positive response of this approach, from aged care staff across the various disciplines, including academics, allied health, diversional and recreational therapists. Such endorsement is already so enthusiastic, that a further
music therapy training resource is in production.
Given the ever-increasing numbers of aged citizens across our nation, this approach through music as therapy will be increasingly welcome.
Person-centred care, certainly, is a welcome — and essential — component within high quality aged care.
Consequently, aged care professionals themselves are becoming increasingly receptive to implementing this positive component within the programs they deliver in order to achieve the highest possible benefit.
Our aged citizens have given so much across their lives to contribute to a great Australia.
It is so fitting that this positive experience of music as therapy be available to all.
Professor the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO