Music for Dementia is asking the UK to make time to listen to music with a loved one for 30 minutes a week to mark World Alzheimer’s Month this September.
Its #powerof30 campaign, supported by actor Christopher Eccleston, aims to get people benefitting from the power that music has to promote and support wellbeing, which for many is at a critical low after lockdown.
For the 850,000 people living in the UK with dementia – of which the most common cause is Alzheimer’s – music is an important way for carers, family and friends to connect with them and enrich and enhance quality of life. Music can help reduce isolation and support communication for people with the condition and those who care for them. Twenty years of academic research indicate it can even reduce the need for medication.
Music for Dementia is the cross-sector campaign to make music a standard part of dementia care. In World Alzheimer’s Month, Music for Dementia is encouraging people in the UK to listen to music with a loved one for 30 minutes a week and experience the power of music.
Christopher Eccleston, who’s memoir, ‘I Love The Bones of You’ focused on the actor’s late father Ronnie’s living with dementia said, ‘Music has the power to communicate to us on direct and subliminal levels. It can take us places. It can be transformative. It has a unique power of its own and within that, the power to comfort those who may be confused or in the grip of this destructive disease. I fully support and endorse the work being done through #powerof30.’
In the UK, dementia is more common than many people would believe and lots of people have loved ones living with dementia or know somebody living with the condition. It affects one in 14 people over the age of 65 and one in six over 80.
Grace Meadows, Campaign Director at Music for Dementia said, ‘Our #powerof30 campaign aims to help people make connections again. Musical services have been severely impacted in the last 18 months, meaning many people living with dementia and their carers have lost those important connections and special moments that music, uniquely, provides – but we can all use music to help create those connections and make a difference to people’s lives.
‘For people living with dementia in care settings we are asking care workers and managers to sign our #powerof30 campaign to show their support in making music an integral part of dementia care for people living with dementia in care homes and those supported in their own homes.’
Download the Five ways to use music leaflet for handy tips on how to make music part of the day in your care setting.
In CMM, Dr Simon Proctor, Director of Music Services for Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy charity, considers the role of both music therapists and wider staff members in making music’s opportunities as available as possible to people in care homes.