PhD Nursing student at the University of Calgary. My research is on the use of music as a first-line intervention therapy for persons with dementia. My specific focus is on maintaining and improving communication within the context of long-term care. My post academic goal is to see a model of care implemented in LTC based on my research.
A preliminary case study using the “Audio Visual Musical Interaction (AVMI) – which I developed – has already been conducted with an 85 year old female, diagnosed with Semantic Dementia. The results were presented at the 2014 Canadian Association on Gerontology in Niagara Falls. “The use of music with active video as a method of personal communication with a person affected by dementia” (Parr-Vijinski & Le Navenec, 2014, October). The conclusions were that the immediate showing of a video leads to greater positive interaction and communication, positive emotional responses, and an increase in verbalization by the person affected with dementia.
Related interests include the use of the creative arts in gerontological nursing for health and healing, with a focus on visual art (in conjunction with music) as a complementary therapy/intervention for dementia care. Other interests include the creation of original music for use as a treatment modality. To that end, I have created, and continue to add to, what I call “a musical pharmacy”. I continue to actively compose original music that will be included in my research into music and dementia. My Youtube channel is: https://www.youtube.com/user/jonparrvijinski
Parr Vijinski, J
Communication and Music for Dementia Care in Long-Term Care using the “Audio-Visual Music Interaction” (AVMI) Intervention
Numerous research has been conducted using both quantitative and qualitative methods on the effects of music for older adults with dementia. In long-term care, with lack of access to familiar surroundings, family, and friends, there is less opportunity for older adults with dementia to communicate and maintain social interactions. Residents can experience loneliness, isolation, and a lack of opportunity to communicate, which directly affects quality of life.
Music is both a personal and social experience, which can be lived by a person, with even advanced dementia. As a form of communication, music facilitates, within the person, emotional, psychological, and social experiences. A first-line intervention, music can be used to initiate interactive responses with persons with dementia, and to build communication, both verbal and non-verbal.
The proposed paper presentation will focus on how communication can be constructed with the use of music for older adults with dementia in long-term care facilities. A new, exploratory intervention, developed by the Presenter – the “Audio Visual Musical Interaction” (AVMI) – uses individualized music with a visual component as the stimuli for constructing communication (spoken and para-linguistic – such as emotive gestures, eye contact, etc.). Initial, positive results were presented at the Canadian Association on Gerontology, Calgary, Oct, 2015.
The AVMI was specifically developed to use music and visual stimuli for the maintaining and/or improving communication with people diagnosed with dementia, and suffering for loneliness, isolation (especially in long-term care). Improving communication may lead to improved social engagement, and quality of life for people with dementia.