New funding will allow more people with dementia to experience the power of music through specially designed programs including singing, belly dancing and drums.
The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) and Music for Dementia have joined forces to support four organizations providing music services to people with dementia through social prescribing. Music for Dementia is a national campaign calling for music to be accessible to anyone diagnosed with dementia and to be an integral part of care plans. The NASP was created to advance social prescribing. This funding supports their common goal of supporting social prescribing activities that promote health and well-being at national and local levels.
John Sharpe, who was diagnosed with dementia six years ago, attends the Derbyshire Stroke & Neuro Therapy Center. He says, “Music is my memories. It reminds me of bands I saw a long time ago, like Queen at Earls Court in 1982 and Bowie in Manchester. I really love talking about music and bands with my friends here, it’s so good to remember them together.
He has only been attending the center for a few months, but is already benefiting from its services. John continues, “My dementia has no cure – my arms and legs look good, but my brain doesn’t. I love coming to the center and seeing singers like Claire from Razzle Dazzle and Paper Kite, it makes me smile.
The funded projects are:
Musica Music and Wellbeing CIC, which offers music workshops across the country for people living with dementia in care settings and online training for caregivers
The Derbyshire Stroke & Neuro Therapy Center, which also spans South Yorkshire and offers a diverse music program to its service users
Arts and community venue The Seagull Theater Lowestoft, which plans to expand its Singing for the Brain groups into an existing and new area, thereby attracting 40 to 60 additional families
Saffron Hall Trust, which leads a thriving music therapy group Together in Sound in partnership with the Cambridge Music Therapy Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University
Grace Meadows, Music for Dementia Campaign Director, said:
“It’s wonderful to be able to work closely with the NASP on this project and this year offer our second round of grants for musical activities for people with dementia. As an expert grantmaker in this area, the Utley Foundation, which supports the Music for Dementia campaign, was able to act quickly to ensure that the money goes into the community where it will directly benefit individuals and caregivers.
“We hope this partnership will pave the way for other businesses in the future, enabling more people with dementia to access music and reap its many benefits through social prescribing.”
James Sanderson, CEO of the National Academy for Social Prescribing, said:
“We know that music is powerful and meaningful to many, whether it’s learning something new or remembering an old song.
“Supporting meaningful social prescribing activities like this, in communities across the country, enables more people to support the people they work with in personal ways. We are delighted to be able to help fund these activities, in order to help more people benefit from them. ”
Seagull Theater Lowestoft Director Des Reynolds said:
“This funding means that our successful music appreciation group will be able to expand and offer more people the opportunity to experience the transformational impact of music on the lives of people with dementia.” We will be able to reach more families to enjoy our Sunday Classics film club where we use reminiscence and a wonderful team of professional actors to take our clients on a journey through time. We are delighted that more local families are receiving support to maximize the fun they can share with their loved ones at our many dementia-accessible events.
Des thinks the services offered by The Seagull Theater Lowestoft really benefit caregivers as well as people with dementia, citing a caregiver who had been a stage performer but felt sad and lacked confidence after caring for her. husband, who has lived with dementia for over 10 years. By joining the Music Appreciation Group, she was able to mingle with other caregivers and people with dementia and eventually took a lead role in the group, playing both instruments and vocals. The caregiver brought tremendous added value to the group and found that it helped her “come back to her being”, improving her self-confidence and well-being. In addition, her husband had the opportunity to mingle with others and his levels of interaction increased to the point that he began to sing, especially when his wife was playing.
Managing Director of the Derbyshire Stroke & Neuro Therapy Center, Julie Wheelhouse said:
“We use music to support reminiscence activities, help people relax, encourage participation in exercise sessions, and most importantly, bring a sense of fun and enjoyment with friends. We were delighted to receive a grant that will allow us to expand our current use of music by employing our own Neuro Music therapist and purchase a diverse range of instruments for everyone to use and enjoy.
Director of Learning and Participation at Saffron Hall, Thomas Hardy said:
“We are delighted to receive this support for our Together in Sound program, which has been established for several years here at Saffron Walden. During this past year in particular, it has been described as a “lifeline” by participants. This funding will help us develop our first satellite project in another part of Essex. In doing so, we are particularly excited to develop stronger partnerships with the healthcare sector, working closely with social workers in prescribing links to ensure that our work reaches as many people who will benefit.
Musica Music and Wellbeing CIC CEO Rosie Mead said:
“This funding will allow us to roll out our online training and coaching, Press Play to Rewind, to healthcare professionals working in more than 200 nursing homes nationwide. Our program equips caregivers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to deliver meaningful music to people with dementia. We are extremely grateful to Music for Dementia and NASP for giving us this opportunity to impact the lives of so many people with dementia in nursing homes.