As part of Dementia Awareness Week we are highlighting the benefits of music and singing for people living with dementia. Not only does it have a calming effect, reducing anxiety and agitation, it enables them to reconnect with memories, making it an incredibly therapeutic activity for both people living with dementia and their loved ones and carers.
At Sanctuary Care’s Iffley Residential and Nursing Home in Oxfordshire, the home has started its own choir. Made up of residents, staff and loved ones, the impact it has had on residents living with dementia, in particular Barbara Goodwin, has been phenomenal.
The benefits of projects like this is backed up by leading dementia charity Alzheimer’s Society, which has over 300 Singing for the Brain groups across the country. The charity’s Director of Operations, Kathryn Smith said: “For a person living with dementia memories can become increasingly hard to retrieve, however music can sometimes help recall due to the preserved memory for song and music in the brain.
“Many people with dementia are still able to enjoy music and to sing even when they are starting to lose their language abilities, which is something that has been highlighted by the wonderful choral project at Sanctuary Care’s Iffley home. It is so inspiring to hear about stories like this. We know that singing can help people with dementia communicate, improve their mood, and leave them feeling good about themselves. Singing for the Brain groups can provide a way for people with dementia, along with their carers, to express themselves and socialise with others in a fun and mutually supportive environment.”Read more about the home’s choir