Personalising care of people with dementia through music: Development and testing of a training program for aged care workers
People living with dementia often experience mood disturbances such as depression or agitation, which can have a big impact on quality of life and carer stress levels. The use of drug-based treatments for these mood disturbances are often undesirable because of side-effects, so the development of cost-effective non-pharmaceutical treatments is highly important. There is considerable evidence that music can have a positive influence on the mood of people living with dementia. However staff buy-in and knowledge are significant barriers to the effective use of music programs in aged care facilities in Australia. This project will merge the experience of Western Sydney University and HammondCare to develop an online training program for aged care staff and home-based carers of people living with dementia. The course, to be developed in close partnership with end users and people with lived experience of dementia, will help caregivers to understand the potential for music to be used as part of individual care plans to manage mood-related symptoms in dementia.