The transformative power of music: Enhancing the lives of those living with dementia

Thames View Health and Wellbeing Lead Raquel is passionate about music and truly believes it brings people together. Her music club is a hit – each person they care for gets the chance to prepare a new playlist for the week before they come together to listen to it and reminisce together and individually about the memories attached to those songs. Such was the impact of the music club, that one resident decided to make Thames View his permanent home because of it.

Raquel’s passion for music extends beyond her role, and she has partnered with Lost Chord UK, a charity specially trained to sing alongside people with dementia. She has opened up the music club to the community and encourages people, especially those who don’t have access to such activities, to join them for free, creating an opportunity to build meaningful and long-lasting connections.

Lost Chord UK is an innovative charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and well-being of those living with dementia and other complex health needs, bringing interactive and therapeutic music sessions into care homes and the community.

Evidence has shown that music and dancing can have positive effects on people living with dementia by stimulating the areas of the brain which are still intact. It can benefit the recalling of information, minimising the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), tackling anxiety and depression, retaining speech and language, and reducing isolation and loneliness.

Research also highlights the positive impact on caregivers and families, suggesting that engaging in music-based interventions can help them to better understand residents and loved-ones.

One visitor to the sessions remarked, “We attend some other local dementia groups with varying levels of interaction from Dad, however it was like something had awakened in him at the Lost Chord session. He was fully engaged singing and even got up to dance! We took a walk in the garden afterwards and he took my son by the hand to point out the geese on the river. Usually, the children would be leading their grandad along.”

Thames View hold Dementia Friendly Interactive Music sessions on the second Thursday of each month from 2pm – 3.30pm. The sessions are free and open not only the people they care for but to the community too. For more information, visit Thames View News – Aria Care or call 0808 223 5406.