Canadian health arts organization Room 217 Foundation has released their extensive library of highly innovative non-pharmacological palliative care collections for digital streaming — plus a comprehensive user guide for care providers and family members alike.
Initially designed as a cost-effective comfort tool in the resource kits of nursing and care staff, volunteers, hospices, palliative care units, long-term care and assisted living homes, Room 217’s increased availability via online streaming is offering community members increased access for home and personal use within their families.
A world leader in music care, Room 217’s expanded digital availability adds to already more than 45,000+ copies sold worldwide, and is set to include this Spring’s newest releases: Collection 3: Diverse Sounds, Collection 4: Boomer Tracks.
“Room 217 Music Collections are a series of albums designed to be a cost-effective comfort tool to meet the psychosocial and spiritual needs of persons in palliative and end-of-life care,” says Room 217 Foundation Executive Director Bev Foster. “We have been a forerunner in bringing the caregiver, especially the family caregiver as a vital care partner, into the music and health sector.”
Promoting sleep and a general sense of peacefulness, Room 217 Music Collections have been proven to help alleviate agitation and anxiety, provide comfort and a distraction from pain, make eating more enjoyable, assist in closure and relationship completion, enhance communications through reminiscence, and more, as well as de-stress caregivers and make care and dying spaces beautiful.
Room 217 music is produced with defined therapeutic and artistic values, including familiar songs and sounds in comforting styles, 60-minute continuous play, with a mix of instrumental-only and albums with vocals — both gently arranged for up to six voices or instruments. Tempos are paced between 54 - 72 beats per minute to entrain with a resting heart rate.
“Collections 3 and 4 — Diverse Sounds and Boomer Tracks — address the need for more cultural- and age-specific music for use in hospice palliative care,” Foster shares of the Foundation’s newest releases. “Collection 3: Diverse Sounds is an inclusive palette of music composed of soothing and healing sounds that reflects the cultural diversity in Canada, and the beauty of our global music community.
“Collection 4: Boomer Tracks showcases music from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. The songs were selected with the help of a team of musicians, music therapists, and Baby Boomer music lovers.”
Since its creation, Room 217 has dedicated itself to be a world- and industry-leader wholly focused on developing, producing and delivering research-informed music care products, education, training, and research.
“Music care is the intentional use of music by anyone to improve health and well-being,” Foster explains. “Music care integrates sound, silence and music into the circle of care, paying close attention to how interpersonal connection and human contact is enhanced through musical associations.”
Room 217 is a Canadian music-based health arts organization and social enterprise providing innovative approaches to well-being through a philosophy of music care.
Its inspiration was deeply personal to Foster, both in practice and need. “The first Room 217 was at a small rural hospital in Uxbridge, Ontario,” she recalls. “There, I said goodnight to my Dad for the last time.
“My family experienced music’s unique ability to accompany us through his end of life journey,” she continues. "When I left the hospital that night, I had two compelling questions:
“1) Is there anything more powerful than music to bring people together through the passages of l living and dying?
“2) Do caregivers have access to tools, understanding, and evidence about music in care?”
With these questions in mind, Foster and her husband Rob gathered a top-notch team of skilled music educators, music therapists, music and health researchers, and community musicians and artists to produce and deliver music care products, education and training and help carers integrate music into their regular practice, enhancing quality of life and improving the care experience.
In its 11 years of groundbreaking work, the impact Room 217 Foundation has had on those both receiving and providing care is immense. Through the development of numerous music care conferences, education platforms and products currently implemented within care settings across the country and around the world — including the Pathways Singing Program for dementia care, Conversation Cards for music sharing, Recollections for reminiscence, and Music Collections for palliative and end-of-life care — the Foundation is considered a national and international leader within the industry.
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