The coronavirus pandemic resulted in unprecedented challenges for caregivers worldwide; Providing innovative support resources has never been more important. In this presentation, the unique strengths and needs of caregivers (lay people who may or may not be family members who undertake vital care for loved ones) will be explored. The relevance of the four tenets of the Resource-Oriented Music Therapy approach and how they have been realized in open music and wellness group sessions for caregivers of older adults will be illustrated. Clinical considerations for conducting these groups in person and online will be explored.
As people worldwide are living longer, many countries are faced with major challenges in building awareness of the value of healthy aging, and providing quality long-term care (WHO, February 5, 2018). Caregivers (lay people who may or may not be family members who undertake vital care for loved ones; Daveson, 2013) are faced with increased responsibilities as health and social systems fail to respond to the rising demands. When the World Health Organization (WHO, March 11, 2020) declared the coronavirus pandemic, caregivers were once again unsuspected victims. For many of them, the pandemic has severely impacted their access to already sparse supportive resources (Daveson, 2013; Landry et al., 2017). Many are elderly themselves, and must remain confined to their homes for their own health, or to protect those they care for. For others, the restrictions put in place in long-term care homes may have prohibited them from visiting their loved-ones. Fear, anxiety, isolation, and despair (Laforme, 2014; Rio, 2009) permeate the everyday lives of many. These recent events have shown us the importance of varying service delivery methods to reach the most isolated people in society.
In this presentation, Ms. Brault will begin by engaging the audience in a receptive online music therapy experience designed for caregiver groups. She will address the unique strengths and needs of caregivers. Then, she will explore the relevance of the four tenets of Rolvsjord’s (2010) Resource-Oriented Music Therapy approach, and how they have been realized in open group sessions for caregivers of older adults. Then, clinical considerations for conducting these groups in person and online will be explored. To conclude, preliminary findings from an ongoing community-based research project will be presented.
At the end of this presentation, participants will:
- Develop an in-depth understanding of the strengths and needs of caregivers (Assessment and Treatment Planning CBMT domain).
- Reflect on how a Resource-Oriented Music Therapy approach may be realized in group contexts with caregivers (Treatment Implementation CBMT domain).
- Examine clinical considerations relevant to the implementation of in-person and online music and wellness group sessions (Safety, Evaluation, and Professional Responsibility CBMT domains).
- Consider research implications related to evaluating online music therapy service delivery and effectiveness (Safety, Evaluation, and Professional Responsibility CBMT domains).
Students, Entry-level professionals, Experienced professionals
Annabelle Brault, MA, MTA is a resource-oriented music therapist, educator, musician, and researcher. A full-time music therapy lecturer at Concordia University, her research focuses on the use of music as a creative medium to instill social change. Alongside her teaching, she works as a music therapist with caregivers in community settings.