Location: Wokingham, England
Number of residents with dementia: 30
We have been providing more than one hour a week of meaningful music. In the early days of using music in this way we had a few challenges such as difficulties getting some families on board with the idea and getting equipment. But after a silent disco and sharing photos and videos of this, the families were soon on board. Since starting to embed music in our care in this way, we have found residents to be much more responsive, eating music better, socialising in new ways, and less ‘behaviours which could be seen as challenging.’
One resident in particular is at a very late stage in her journey and isn’t really responsive to anyone or anything, her family brought in an ipod with a speaker for her room so we could play some playlists designed by her family. Since this the resident has slowly started to talk a bit more, shout a little less and acknowledge the team in small and simple ways when they are with them.
The thing that has worked well for us in terms of embedding music in our care, is by making it fun! Involving the residents, their families and the team at all key stages of implementation and empowering them to do it and have fun with it.
Embedding music into dementia care is not easy, it takes time, perseverance a lot of encouragement and empowerment but once its embedded its truly a wonderful tool to have and to see being used. It’s so magical to see residents ‘come back to life’ while the music plays.