A new campaign has been launched to enhance the wellbeing of people living with dementia and support those who care for them through the medium of music.
The Music for Dementia 2020 website was launched yesterday and will be the first ever central information hub for advice and evidence-based research on how music can benefit people with dementia and make the delivery of care more effective and efficient.
The website promotes a range of musical activities available for people living with dementia, from how to compile a playlist through to advice on how to find a music therapist.
It also incorporates case studies, blogs, interactive short films and advice and guidance from across the health, care, dementia and music sectors.
Grace Meadows, programme director for Music for Dementia 2020, said that music can be a “connector” that stops people with dementia from being “locked away in a lonely and isolated world”.
“Music, in its many forms; recorded, live, participatory, interactive, therapy, has the power to transform lives,” she added.
“There is some excellent work happening across the country; in people’s homes, the community, care settings, hospitals and hospices. However, this is not happening everywhere across the UK. This website is the major first step in helping to ensure that everyone living with dementia has access to the music that matters to them.”
The launch follows the recent announcement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, on the inclusion of musical activities, including music therapy, in care for people living with dementia to help reduce and manage dementia symptoms.
It also responds directly to recommendations made by the newly launched Commission on Dementia and Music, created by International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC), with support from The Utley Foundation.
ILC president Baroness Sally Greengross said: “Analysis by the ILC, undertaken for the Commission, showed that music helps to significantly minimise some of the symptoms of dementia, such as agitation, and can help to tackle anxiety and depression. Moreover, evidence suggests that music helps us to reconnect with loved ones with dementia.
“However, at present we know that too many people are missing out on the opportunity to engage in music-based activities. Bringing together learning and information about activities in this website will be a vital first step to widening access and opportunity for everyone.”