A campaign is seeking nationwide support to help people with dementia find music related events and services in their area
Music for Dementia 2020 is launching a digital Musical Map to highlight nationwide dementia-friendly musical activities and services across the UK.
This comes as part of a campaign run by Music for Dementia 2020 to make music more accessible for people living with dementia.
Campaigners have been working collaboratively with BBC Music Day to highlight the power music can and does have for people living with dementia, as well as their families and carers.
Research has shown that music provides a wide range of emotional, health and wellbeing benefits and in June 2019 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recognised the importance of music therapy in its guidance on quality standards for dementia care.
Grace Meadows, programme director at Music for Dementia 2020 and a senior music therapist, said: “Music for people living with dementia isn’t a nicety, it’s a necessity. I’ve witnessed first-hand the power of music in helping transform people’s lives. In every corner of the country there are talented people delivering musical services that can alleviate the often-distressing symptoms of dementia, such as agitation, apathy and anxiety but it’s vital people know where they are and how to access them.”
Photo by Grant Newton © Alzheimer’s Support
A report for the campaign from the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) found that while there are pockets of excellent community-based dementia-friendly music offerings, provision is disparate and people with dementia and their families and carers are not clear on how or where to go to find out about services.
Music for Dementia 2020 hope to alleviate this problem with their Musical Map.
Neil Utley, founder of The Utley Foundation, said: “Our Musical Map for Dementia will open up a whole new world for people living with dementia and those who care for them. People affected by dementia and their carers can experience social isolation and loneliness. We know from research that there are fantastic people out there already providing valuable music-based events and services. We are just asking them to tell us where they are and what they are doing so we can help promote their services to the people that need them.”
Examples of events already on the map include a dementia-friendly performance of La Bohème by Opera North, and a regular Dementia Disco for people living with dementia to come and enjoy their favourite music.
Music for Dementia 2020 are calling on the 70 organisations involved with BBC Music Day, and all of the other many practitioners nationwide to come forward and submit their details via their website here, in order to reveal the many services in existence across the UK.