In Issue 172, HIP ran an article about the benefits of music for dementia sufferers: Astonishing Results with Silent Disco. In this issue we look at what St Leonards – based company Lifesize, a community arts and music organisation that provides contemporary interactive music and arts for wellbeing programmes, is doing for those with dementia.

Lifesize has just received £14,975 of funding to provide interactive music services for people living with dementia to support their wellbeing. The grant, from Music for Dementia’s £500,000 Paul and Nick Harvey Fund, will enable Lifesize to work closely with local dementia specialist care homes and hospital wards in the local area. 

Music for Dementia is a national campaign calling for music to be made accessible for everyone living with dementia. Music has a valuable role to play in enhancing quality of life for people living with the condition – and their carers. Research and lived experiences show that it can help reduce the often-distressing symptoms of dementia, such as agitation, apathy and anxiety. 

We are able to bring the joy of music into their lives wherever they are on their dementia journey

Sam Dook, Director of Lifesize, says: “We work with a number of partnership organisations to support people experiencing mental health challenges and people with learning disabilities. We seek to enable our clients to engage in high quality arts activities. Covid 19 has presented us with a number of challenges, and a lot of our work has been delivered online in the last year. We have been determined to rise above these challenges and deliver a responsive and meaningful provision.” 

Hannah Collisson and Sam Dook

He says the grant will help the organisation work closely with more dementia care settings in the local area to provide interactive music sessions for their patients. They will also be able to work with a new trainee musician in healthcare and develop a package of support for care and hospital staff, enabling them to feel more confident using music in dementia care settings. 

Grace Meadows, Programme Director of Music for Dementia expressed her delight in working with Lifesize: “Musical services have been severely impacted in the last year, meaning many people living with dementia and their carers have lost those important connections and special moments that only music can provide. By directing the fund money towards community-based, musical services … we are able to bring the joy of music into people’s lives wherever they are on their dementia journey.” 

The Fund was made possible by a donation from The Hunter Foundation to Paul and Nick Harvey who passed the money to The Utley Foundation for Music for Dementia.

See the ITV report on Paul and Nick Harvey and an interview with Lifesize at bit.ly/3vapcqV

For more information visit www.lifesize.org.uk


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