Music Making For Dementia Awareness Week and #DoSomethingNew

In support of Dementia Awareness Week 2015 and the #DoSomethingNew campaign, Percussion Play teamed up with a local Care Home, East Hill in Hampshire for a little participant-led music making session outside in the garden. Percussion Play took along a small selection of their outdoor musical instruments for a morning of musical fun in the sun with the residents.

Percussion Play Director Robin Ashfield said “We belief music making outdoors has a unique magic not only for older residents but for the whole community of a care home, including visitors, family and staff. We wanted to be part of this special week and show there is nothing like music to bring people together.”

The aim of Dementia Awareness Week is to improve understanding of Dementia and overcoming stigma through local events and activities. Dementia is rapidly becoming the health and social care challenge of the 21st century. Numbers affected are set to soar because of an expanding older population. There is now hard evidence to show that music participation can help those living with dementia in many ways from simply providing an interesting diversion, improving or maintaining social skills, physical ability and cognitive skills. Music making can facilitate social integration and improve communication and because it’s fun it can relieve the stress and tension associated with caring for older adults and build relationships between residents, carers and staff.

In the short time we were at East Hill playing the instruments with the residents in the garden, we quickly found the music triggered some wonderful memories and it was amazing to watch the residents reminisce and bond as they shared these memories and experiences. One resident told us how she had performed with the Bach Choir in her youth (one of the finest independent choirs in the world) and told us a little of her adventures. Another resident told us he used to play in a band and another how she would play the piano at parties with her family gathered around the piano for a good old sing-song. We were also joined by several people visiting their parents at the home.

About East Hill Care Home, Liss, Hampshire

Managed by Samantha Booty, East Hill House is located in Liss and provides residential and specialist dementia care for up to 32 elderly people in a unique setting. The home delivers specialist residential care, enabling residents to maintain dignity and independence in a setting purpose-designed and equipped to provide support for elderly people living with different types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

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