Cash boost helping dementia patients relive memories through music

A funding boost is helping Derbyshire dementia patients relive their memories through music.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 3:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 3:14 pm

Based in Holmewood in Chesterfield, The Derbyshire Stroke and Neuro Therapy Centre supports people with the long-term challenges of stroke, dementia, head injuries along with other neurological conditions.

Now a £42,6000 cash injection will help the charity to give all people at the centre the chance to explore music therapy.

It comes after the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) and Music for Dementia joined forces to support four organisations in England, including Derbyshire Stroke Centre, that provide musical services for people living with dementia through social prescribing.

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People at the centre partake in belly dancing.

Derbyshire Stroke Centre holds sessions every morning for participants who can enjoy care-based exercises, using music, dancing, relaxation and full body work outs.

John Sharpe, who was diagnosed with dementia six years ago, attends the centre.

He added: “Music is my memories.

"It makes me remember the bands I saw long ago, such as Queen at Earls Court in 1982 and Bowie in Manchester.

Alan and Ann from the Derbyshire Stroke Centre based in Holmewood, Chesterfield.

"I really enjoy talking to my friends here about music and bands, it’s so good to remember them together.

John has only visited the charity for a few months but is feeling the benefit from their services.

He continued: “My dementia has no cure - my arms and legs look fine, but my brain isn’t.

"I love coming to the centre and seeing singers like Claire from Razzle Dazzle and Paper Kite, it brings a smile to my face.”

John Sharpe.

Music for Dementia is a national campaign calling for music to be made accessible to everyone with a dementia diagnosis, while NASP was established to advance social prescribing – enabling professionals to refer people to a range of non-clinical services – at a national and local level.

Chief executive at the Derbyshire Stroke and Neuro Therapy Centre, Julie Wheelhouse said: “We use music to support reminiscence activities, help people to relax, encourage participation in exercise sessions and most importantly to bring a sense of enjoyment and fun with friends.

"We were delighted to be awarded a grant which will enable us to develop our existing use of music by employing our own Neuro Music therapist and purchase a diverse range of instruments that everyone will be able to use and enjoy.

“We regularly hold themed weeks which allows us to entertain and engage with people in a unique way.”

Grace Meadows, Music for Dementia campaign director commented: “We are so delighted to be able to support Derbyshire Stroke Centre with a grant.

"Musical services have been severely impacted in the last 16 months, meaning many people living with dementia and their carers have lost those important connections and special moments that only music can provide.

“By partnering with NASP, we are able to support community-based, musical services for people living with dementia and those that provide them, bringing the joy of music into people’s lives wherever they are on their dementia journey.”

James Sanderson, chief executive of the National Academy for Social Prescribing, said: “We know that music is powerful and meaningful for many, whether it’s learning something new or reminiscing over an old song.”

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