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Musicians on Call

Age Friendly Ireland

Age Friendly Limerick

Programme: Limerick

WHO Theme: Social Participation

Funding Stream: Creative Ireland - Creativity in Older Age

Resources Required: Financial, Paid Staff, Premises, Volunteer Staff

Cost: 5000-10000


The aim of the project was to promote health and well-being by improving the quality of life and cultural access for those who live and work in healthcare settings, by bringing high quality live music to vulnerable older members of our communities living in nursing homes. Residents and staff of community nursing units in Limerick and across the Mid-west region have enjoyed a series of live musical engagements as part of a pilot project led by Limerick City and County Council and supported by Creative Ireland. The Outside-In Music approach placed the residents’ interests and choice at the heart of music making, by connecting closely with the community setting before each visit and allowing the residents to curate each visit through a two-way responsive engagement. Musicians called on residents in St Camillus Hospital, Limerick, St Ita’s Hospital, Newcastle West as well as St Joseph’s Hospital, Ennis; Raheen Community Nursing Unit, Scariff; Ennistymon Community Nursing Unit and Regina House, Kilrush in County Clare; and St Conlon’s Community Nursing Unit, Nenagh; Dean Maxwell Community Nursing Unit, Roscrea and Community Hospital of the Assumption, Thurles in County Tipperary over an initial 6 month period.

Aim of Initiative

Who is it aimed at

Residents of Community Nursing Units in Mid West Community Healthcare region and staff

Steps critical to success

  1. Coordination and communication between the various partners, with designated lead people at each service
  2. Musicians are trained to work appropriately and sensitively in Healthcare settings in their role as Healthcare Musicians
  3. Time to develop relationships between all partners, including residents, staff and musicians

Challenges in Planning / Delivery

  1. Impact of COVID-19 – delivery had to be flexible to ensure safety of all
  2. Time available to coordinate functions
  3. Changing staff impacted on the development of relationships in some sites

Outcomes / Benefits

  1. Overall positive impact on the mental health & well-being of both residents and staff
  2. Individuals were drawn out by the inclusion of all demonstrated by the musicians and the overall feeling of a safe and happy space developed as the relationships strengthened with each session
  3. Development of a variety of mechanisms for musical engagement outside the traditional norms

Samantha Richardson