If you’re feeling more stressed and anxious these days — or during the past year — you’re far from alone. The reality of the current health crisis has been tough on us all. But for seniors living in COVID-19 isolation, these conditions can be dangerous. Numerous studies have shown that loneliness and social isolation in adults over sixty years in age can lead to functional decline and increase the risk of early death by more than twenty percent.
But there is a way to help. Music can both improve quality of life and care experiences.
Room 217 is a social enterprise that uses music to provide comfort and change the culture of care. Offering a wide range of training services to suit caregiver needs, setting and learning styles, Room 217 provides tools, strategies and information that can be used to enrich care practice.
In addition, Room 217 offers curated music collections to help improve quality of life for seniors. These therapeutic resources have been specifically designed to create a pathway of soothing comfort through life’s transitions, offering support to those with complex care needs, life challenging illness, those facing stressful times in their lives, and those who are looking for calm and relaxation in the midst of their life journey.
“Since we’ve been under social isolation rules, there has been all kinds of social chatter about people experiencing sleep disturbances, sadness, anxiety and depression,” says Bev Foster, executive director of the Room 217 Foundation. “Living with these weights on our shoulders, especially as we are socially isolated from the people we love and who support us, is affecting many people’s mental health.”
Room 217’s goal is to see music become a primary approach to care. They believe music has the capacity to bring healing to every dimension of the human experience. While the majority of their audience is in Canada, they are beginning to extend their training services into the United States and beyond.