Research over the past decade into the impacts of arts on health has uncovered a wealth of evidence to support the benefits of music as a therapeutic tool in dementia care. It is clear that engaging in music can have outstanding impacts on people living with dementia, seen in studies to increase communication, wellbeing, agency, expression and selfhood and decrease agitation, aphasia and low mood.
Unfortunately, however only a fraction of people living with dementia have access to music. Statistics show that 80% of people in care homes have dementia or significant issues with memory, whilst only 5% of care homes have access to music and arts.
It is for this reason that part of our work is in sharing our practices, knowledge and skills with other artists, health-care practitioners, care-home staff, carers and organisations. We run a Music for Dementia Toolkit Training programme, which is available to care homes and organisations to hire-in, or book onto.
We believe that the more the arts and health entities merge, the stronger our shared impact can be. Our Knowledge Exchange programme reflects this principle, as we understand knowledge only develops from engaging with those around us. The expertise we hold as an organisation is only strengthened by learning from others, and we welcome the breadth of experiences and expertise from those we share knowledge with.
The value of Knowledge Exchange drives us to foster partnerships with other organisations and practitioners, and we relish working with these experts to strengthen our offering.
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“It was relaxed but informative, and I think the whole group worked well together, without embarrassment. We were able to speak our minds and absorb the information whilst contributing our own ideas.”
“It was fun, we enjoyed experimenting together as a group and we got to know ‘new’ people in a good way.”
“I came away with lots of new singing ideas, some new ways to use movement, an introduction to easy-to-use instruments, and a better understanding of how to use music in the moment.”
“I now understand more about the brain and dementia.”
“It has reminded me of how affective music is for a person with dementia.”
“I really liked the way the session was delivered, it was great!”
“It was varied between instructional and interactive. There was a lot of practical advice. It was really, really fantastic.”
“Very well structured, with room for flexibility. Breakout sessions were good to keep things fresh and bounce ideas around without ever becoming chaotic. Lucy was excellent at communicating with clarity, listening to peoples’ ideas and questions and encouraging. The session was very inclusive.”