Jul 12
Music and Memory Introduced in Local Services

Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) is partnering with the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) and Arts Health Institute (AHI) to bring an Australian-first pilot of the Music & MemoryTM program to local acute care services at Blayney Multipurpose Service (MPS), Dunedoo MPS, Nyngan MPS and Rylstone MPS.

Music & Memory is a scalable, systematic and sustainable initiative from the USA which was initially designed to aid people with dementia. Due to the growing evidence of the importance and impact music has on mood and recovery, the program was expanded to include people experiencing depression and feelings of isolation.

Accredited Music & Memory services offer personalised playlists of music which are targeted to meet both the musical tastes and health and wellbeing needs of patients.

The pilot program is a joint initiative of the ACI and AHI, and was a winner of the NSW Health in the Arts start-up grant announced at the NSW Health Innovation Symposium in November 2015. Following the awarding of the grant, which funded two sites in the pilot, the NSW Government invested further funding to support an additional 19 sites, bringing the total to 21.

“I was blown away after watching the presentation for the Music & Memory program. I’ve seen videos of patients with dementia who were totally withdrawn, become energised, getting up and dancing and singing. These results are fantastic,” said Health Minister Jillian Skinner at a recent training day event held at the Art Gallery of NSW.

“I’m thrilled that after the initial grant we provided, we were able to fund 21 locations for this remarkable program.”

Staff members from WNSWLHD facilities attended the training day, which saw representatives from each service involved in the pilot come together with program experts to develop implementation plans for their sites, as well as troubleshooting and a hands-on introduction to the equipment and monitoring tools to be used throughout the pilot. 

General Manager Northern Sector at WNSWLHD, Joy Adams said the program is a great initiative which will help many local patients and aged care residents.

“We are so excited to be able to roll out this program at Blayney, Dunedoo, Nyngan and Rylstone,” Ms Adams said.

“The evidence has shown the importance of music in mood and recovery, and we are excited to see the benefits that this program may have in some of our local health facilities.”

The Music & Memory program was introduced to Australian aged care facilities by the AHI in November 2015, but the pilot is the first time the accredited program will be trialled in public acute care services.

For more information on the Music & Memory program in Australia, visit the Arts Health Institute website at http://www.artshealthinstitute.org.au/Programs/Music-Memory.aspx  .  

For more information on the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, visit the website at www.aci.health.nsw.gov.au


Music & Memory

Music & MemoryTM was introduced into Australia in November 2015by the Arts Health Institute.It is a scalable, systematic and sustainable initiative. Music & Memory is a program of developing personalised playlists of music on iPod shuffles for people with dementia specifically, but more generally for people who are in pain, feeling depressed or isolated. There is growing evidence that a personalised music program gives professionals one more option in using non-pharmacological approaches to reducing pain, improving mood and symptoms of dementia.

Arts Health Institute

The Arts Health Institute is a national, not for profit organisation founded in 2011 which delivers programs, research and education by bringing the arts and health care together. The Arts Health Institute improves lives through the integration of the arts into all aspects of health and aged care environments, and owns the exclusive rights to the Music & Memory program in Australia.  

Agency for Clinical Innovation

The Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) works with clinicians, consumers and managers to design and promote better healthcare for NSW. We provide expertise in service redesign and evaluation, specialist advice on healthcare innovation, initiatives including clinical guidelines and models of care, implementation support, knowledge sharing and continuous capability building. The ACI Patient Experience and Consumer Engagement (PEACE) team supports the ACI’s Networks, Taskforces and Institutes to capture consumer input and harness direct patient, carer and staff experience to inform ACI activities with the goal of translating this information into transformational change across the health system.