Pioneering dementia music therapy research project launched

24 May 2022

Care provider Anchor has launched a dementia music therapy research project in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University’s Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research, with funding from The Utley Foundation.

Research from Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for people in later life, has revealed that 67% of the public now worry about a loved one getting dementia; an 8% increase since January 2021.

A survey has also revealed that 75% of older people find joy in music, 84% of older people say music helps to bring back fond memories, 78% of the public want greater access to dementia music therapy and 74% of the public would want music therapy if they developed dementia themselves.

In response, the care provider is working to enrich the care they provide to residents by launching its 18-month project to improve outcomes for residents living with dementia using the “transformative power of music”.

Its dementia music therapy programme, which positions music therapy at the forefront of dementia care, is designed to support residents living with dementia as well as upskill carers in their understanding of the power of music.

The project will launch across 13 of Anchor’s care homes across England, starting in the South and working up to Yorkshire. It will involve group and individual sessions, and the person-centred approach will help to ensure each resident gets tailored care to best meet their needs.

Anchor is also proposing music therapy be implemented more widely in dementia care policies and has called on the Government to include it within its forthcoming Dementia Care White Paper.

It is also asking that local authorities, local NHS trusts and care commissioners promote and raise awareness of music therapy in all dementia care packages, and is demanding that information and resources are available to all people living with dementia following diagnosis.

More information about the project is available at https://musicfordementia.org.uk.