Our music therapists work with older people with a range of mental health needs, including loneliness, depression and anxiety, as well as dementia. Music therapy can be particularly valuable in supporting people with dementia, as research shows that the part of the brain that responds to music is the longest lasting. A person may be able to play, sing, appreciate and respond to music even after most other faculties have gone. Music and singing songs may be an enjoyable satisfying experience, which aids memory recall and helps people to reconnect with their loved ones, as well as with parts of their life history and identity. Music therapy sessions include songs and musical activities tailor-made to the needs and background of the client.
Music therapy for people with dementia can be individual or group-based. Sessions may take place at our RMT Bases or in care homes and day centres in the community.
The aims of music therapy for adults with dementia include:
- Supporting communication and meaningful interpersonal contact
- Reminiscence and improving memory recall
- Enabling positive social experiences
- Creating a sense of belonging
- Improving confidence, self-esteem and autonomy
- Working with emotional themes such as grief and loss
- Supporting emotional well-being
We provide music therapy services for older adults in RMT centres, at their home, in care homes and day centres, as well as online.
“She has helped him to maintain elements in his life which he would otherwise have lost and celebrate the skills which he still has. Although music is Dad’s passion and he adores singing with Olivia, the service that is offered runs far deeper than that and Dad is more able to verbalise his feelings. No one else really talks to him about what is going on and to bridge that professional gap has been a lifesaver.”
“As Dementia locks us into our personal worlds, music therapy can release us from our limitations and help us make contact with other people….Watching him sing and respond to music through the gentle hands of the therapist means that his quality of life is better, and for a brief moment he is unlocked from his mental prison and allowed to relate and respond to other human beings.”
“And it is good to see him move his body and feel and express himself through the rhythm of the music. He becomes much more animated in the sessions and there is a deep connection with the singing and music.”
“This group has now been running for approximately two months and has been exceptionally well received. The lead therapist has a structured but very informal style and ensures maximum participation from all group members. I have observed a 93-year-old lady who lives on her own and is prone to depression and she was lively and animated throughout the session. “
Referrals can be made by carers or any professional working with the adult in a health or social care setting. Adults are also welcome to refer themselves. Once we receive your referral form we will contact you to arrange an initial Music Therapy Assessment.