10 March 2020

Music for Dementia 2020 - a force for good?

Music for Dementia 2020 is a campaign to bring music to people with dementia. This is their vision:
To have the support of the music, social, health,  and care sectors in making music readily available for people living with dementia.
To create a collective understanding across society that music is a necessity for people living with dementia and they need access to it now.
There was concern at Quiet Scotland on first learning about the campaign. We all know about unwanted music forced on people in NHS waiting rooms and in care homes. Was music now to be imposed on those unable to voice their distress at having to listen to musical genres not of their choosing, often played at loud volumes?
Not so. All is made clear at the campaign's website, https://musicfordementia2020.com/ 
Very carefully chosen music, selected on the basis of research into the individual's history and preferences, is at the core of the campaign. Here's what they say:
"It is anticipated that there will be one million people living with dementia in the UK by 2021. Music can enliven, stimulate and enable people living with dementia to express themselves creatively through musical engagement.
Research has shown and lived experiences demonstrate that music has the ability to help reduce the often-distressing symptoms of dementia, such as agitation, apathy and anxiety.
Music supports people living with dementia to communicate beyond words, helping them to connect with others. It supports emotional health and wellbeing, particularly at a time when emotions can be overwhelming or difficult to process or manage. It has a valuable role to play in enhancing quality of life and supporting carers in their vital roles.
When delivered effectively, music provides a way to be with and stay connected with loved ones and carers through shared experiences.
When we talk about music being readily available, we are talking about the whole spectrum of music, from understanding how to create the right environments in care settings through appropriate use of the radio through to active participation in live music making, playlists, listening to performances, using music to enhance and enrich care, and music therapy. People should and need to be able to make choices about what types of musical activities are best for them.This campaign wants to make sure that choice is available to you wherever you live across the UK (underlining by Quiet Scotland), and that you have access to high quality musical activities, from the best in the latest music technology to evidence based music therapy.
The value and power of music for people with dementia is clear, so spread the word and let’s work together to meet the challenge of dementia through music."
The campaign has just published its advice on how to tailor music to the individual. See https://musicfordementia2020.com/2019/12/04/create-a-playlist-listen-to-recorded-music/
Well done Music for Dementia 2020

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