Major report highlights the power of music in care

A major new national report has recommended that live music should be essential in all UK care homes.

LIVE MUSIC IN CARE is the result of a three-year research programme supported by 35 national organisations in the social care and arts sectors, working under the banner ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’, funded by the Baring Foundation.

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector, Care Quality Commission, said: “The excellent Live Music in Care report is a big step forward in showing what live music can do. This is much more than simply entertainment. If done well, live music can help care homes achieve all the key indicators of quality person-centred provision that CQC inspectors are looking for.”

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As part of the programme, from June 2017 to August 2018, Live Music Now and the University of Winchester worked in partnership with MHA (Methodist Homes) and The Orders of St John Care Trust to investigate the impact of music on residents, staff and the whole care home environment.

The independently evaluated results showed significant impacts for everyone involved, concluding that “carefully delivered music can provide significant benefits for older people, care staff and care settings, contributing to person-centred care”.

As well as recommending that music should be “essential” for all care homes, the report makes a series of practice recommendations about choosing suitable repertoire, the appropriate use of percussion and the importance of managerial support and careful planning.

Professor Martin Green OBE, UK Govt Dementia Champion, CEO of Care England, said: “We have known for some time that carefully delivered music activities can provide significant benefits for people who live and work in care. At last, this important report presents rigorous evidence showing how music can impact on whole care settings, not just on individuals. There should no longer be any excuses – live music programmes should be essential for all UK care homes. This report shows why, and what practical steps care homes can take to embrace this.”

The full report and a short 4-page summary can be downloaded from: www.livemusicincare.org.uk

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