Through the pandemic, not only have seniors been more isolated and lonely than ever, but front-line long-term and memory care workers have suffered as well. Exhaustion, low morale and moral distress are rife amongst this essential healthcare staff. They need our support in many ways so that they can work in healthier environments that support their care for their residents and patients.

To that end, Concerts in Care has been invited to join the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research in a 3-year study that will have us talking with front-line workers, finding out what music they like, what they don’t like, what they are curious about and would like to try.

The project is funded by a unique combination of funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA), the first time these two national entities have joined.

Starting in June 2023, we will present an 8-week pilot project in two Schlegel homes, offering a wide variety of music and styles to give the staff in these homes the opportunity to sample Concerts in Care musicians and music. After each set of concerts, the healthcare workers will sit with Sheridan researchers, musicians, and CiC staff to discuss their responses to the music. From these discussions, we will modify and test more programming.

Over the next three years, the concert series will extend to all 19 Schlegel homes in Ontario. They will also include the building of an app for the front-line workers by LUCID, a digital content developer based at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Concerts in Care Ontario is honoured and thrilled to be a partner in this important applied research project. We will keep you posted!