Learn How to Use Music in Care


A charity organization that “cares for the whole person with music” is hosting a training session in Barrie to teach caregivers how they can use music in health care.

The Room 217 Foundation is hosting a music care training program in Barrie on April 12 and 13 at Hospice Simcoe, located at 336 Penetanguishene Rd.

Typically, training sessions are held in larger cities, said Deb Bartlett, resource lead at Room 217.

“I think the training is so valuable to the care receiver that we’ve got to make it accessible … that’s why it is going to Barrie,” she said, noting they expect to draw people in from neighbouring municipalities.

She says music can be used intentionally used in health care to achieve specific outcomes.

“Everything that we do, all of our resources and the training, is research informed and evidence based,” she said.

For example, someone staying at Hospice Simcoe or in palliative care could benefit from music in care.

“Pain distraction is a big way,” Bartlett said. “There is research and studies that have shown that when people are able to listen to music they enjoy, it helps takes their mind off of how much they are hurting.”

Bartlett says Room 217’s music resources are familiar songs simplified and designed to match resting heart rates.

“It is designed to calm people down and reduce agitation,” she said.

Health-care providers such as nurses, PSWs, front line workers, hospice volunteers, and social workers could benefit from the training, she said.

Mary Hutterer, supervisor of community program at the Simcoe County Adult Day Program which runs in Elmvale and Penetangusihene, says the resources their program has from Room 217 has been very beneficial.

“It really is a wonderful package they’ve put together,” Hurtterer said.

The day program serves people with dementia or seniors looking for a social experience.

Hurtterer says people with dementia responded very well to music.

“It was something to see, once they heard the music they were attentive, they were singing,” she said. “It really brought out a lot of interaction.”

For more information on the training session, visit www.room217.ca or call toll-free 1-844-985-0217.

For more info on the adult day program, call 705-549-6277.


Shane MacDonald

by Shane MacDonald

Shane MacDonald is a reporter with Metroland Media Group’s Simcoe.com. He can be reached at [email protected] . Follow him on Twitter and Simcoe.com on Facebook

Email: [email protected]