Music for Dementia 2020 is launching the first ever Musical Map for Dementia. Its aim is to provide those affected by the condition with information on music-based events and services in their area.
As music has a wide range of benefits for people living with dementia, the campaign is calling on individuals and organisations such as choirs, music groups, music therapists from across the country to come forward and submit their details to the map to help make life easier for people with dementia and to give back the gift of music.
The campaign has 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.
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.”
Research has shown music provides a wide range of emotional, health and wellbeing benefits and in NICE recognised the importance of music therapy in its guidance on quality standards for dementia care. However, 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.
Neil Utley, Founder and Trustee 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.”