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Music to help more people living with dementia

New funding will allow more people with dementia to benefit from the power of music through specially designed programmes.

The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) and Music for Dementia have joined forces to support four organisations providing musical services for people living with dementia through social prescribing.

Music for Dementia is a national campaign calling for music to be made accessible to everyone with a diagnosis of dementia and for it to become an integral part of care plans.

NASP was established to advance social prescribing. This funding supports their shared objective to support social prescribing activities that promote health and wellbeing at a national and local level. 

One of the grantees, Musica Music and Wellbeing CIC, offers music workshops across the country for people living with dementia in care settings and online training for carers.

The online training programme empowers care staff to use music as part of their daily care.

Carers don’t need to be musicians but training and support centres on relationship care, so that carers can use music in a meaningful way, which in turn may help to reduce agitation, low self-esteem, social isolation, or just help residents to feel good and connected to their environment, to themselves and each other. 

Musica have already delivered this training programme to care home groups Hallmark care homes, Somerset Care and piloted training at 20 care homes belonging to HC-One. 

Grace Meadows, Music for Dementia campaign director said: ‘It is wonderful to be able to work closely with NASP on this project and to be offering a second round of grants this year to musical activities working with people with dementia.

‘As an expert grant maker in this field The Utley Foundation, who back the Music for Dementia campaign, have been able to move swiftly to ensure that the money is channelled into communities where this funding can make a real impact and benefit individuals and carers directly. 

‘We hope this partnership paves the way for further ventures in the future, enabling more people with dementia to access music and enjoy its many benefits through social prescribing.’

James Sanderson, chief executive of the National Academy for Social Prescribing, said: ‘We know that music is powerful and meaningful for many, whether it’s learning something new or reminiscing over an old song. 

‘Supporting meaningful social prescribing activities like this, in communities in England, allows more people to support the people they work with in a personal way. We are pleased to be able to help fund these activities, to help more people benefit.’

CEO at Musica Music and Wellbeing CIC, Rosie Mead said: ‘This funding will enable us to roll out our online training and coaching, Press Play to Rewind, to healthcare professionals working in over 200 care homes nationwide.

‘Our programme provides care staff with the skills, knowledge and confidence to provide meaningful music for individuals living with dementia.

‘We are incredibly grateful to Music for Dementia and NASP for providing us with this opportunity to impact the lives of so many people living with dementia in care homes.’

One learner from HC-One said: ‘I have found this course to be of real value as a tool to supporting and bringing out the benefits of music to the people in our care.

‘The course work is comprehensive and well presented. I have compiled a file from the downloads which is now available for all colleagues to access enabling them to carry forward the process when I’m not available.

‘The informative videos really help and some new activities have been implemented from them. The study groups have been great to support each other and to share ideas. If you are given the chance to access this course please do.’

Another added: ‘I was very excited to commence the Press Play to Rewind course simply because I love music and I know I would learn a lot from Rosie.

‘I have a lot better understanding of how music can affect people. Following the course we have a plan around how we can improve our activities across the Home and general quality of life through music. Brilliant course, I would highly recommend it.’

The funding will support the wellbeing and quality of life of people living with dementia in care homes through empowering care staff to deliver meaningful music within their settings. The online coaching and course will be delivered to 200 care settings and for 400 learners. 

Photo Credit – Music for dementia

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