Meet in Music – whole life
The city of Sundbyberg in Stockholm county has had the opportunity to implement the project ”Meet in Music – Whole Life” stating in 2019 and with an extension (because of Covid-19) until and throughout 2023 with support from Signatur Foundation Sweden. The project provides a unique opportunity to strengthen and develop the work from a music therapy perspective of using music to improve the quality of life of the elderly in nursing and care homes.
Since 2010 the city’s adult social care department has included a full-time music therapist who works on integrating music, dance and movement as part of the daily nursing routine.
With the support from Signatur Foundation Sweden, another part-time therapist has been hired and 10 young people aged 16-25 years have also been recruited in partnership with the cultural school in Sundbyberg. These young people have been working one day every two weeks in the city’s retirement/care homes and drop in centres to create musical encounters across the generations.
The vision is to spread knowledge about music as a unique tool for the health and well-being of our elderly. When music is used in the right way, it can create calmness amid anxiety, a stimulus to engage in activities, and communication when words are not enough or have run out.
Meaningful encounters in music create a sense of belonging and context which can provide health benefits for both the elderly and the staff, and not least for the young people who have the experience of “making a difference”.