Music is an essential tool in dementia care. This accessible guide embraces ways in which music can enhance the daily lives of those with dementia. It draws on the expertise of practitioners regularly working in dementia settings, as well as incorporating research on people with dementia, to help anyone, whether or not they have any musical skills or experience, to successfully use music in dementia care.
Guiding the reader through accessible activities with singing, percussion, sounding bowls and other musical tools, the book shows how music may can be used from the early to late stages of dementia. This creative outlet can extend to inspire dance, movement, poetry and imagery. The chapters include creative uses of technology, such as tablets and personal playlists.
The book also covers general considerations for using music with people living with dementia in institutional settings, including evaluating and recording outcomes.
Living Well with Dementia through Music is the perfect go-to guide for music-based activities with people living with dementia.
"This book will change lives through the power of music. A compelling read for anyone involved in the care of a person living with dementia. A 'go-to-guide' crammed with informative, well-researched, and practical ways to empower, and enrich lives. Talented musicians, or total novices alike, we can all support the emotional and psychological needs of those in our care."
— Jann Gilliland, Former NHS Service Manager and Matron, Registered Mental Health Nurse, Specialist Dementia Care Unit Registered Volunteer
"Inclusive, collaborative, creative, this book is not only a brilliantly rich resource for anyone using or wanting to use music with people living with dementia, it effectively demonstrates that we can all play a part in helping to make music a part of dementia care.
Woven through the many of examples of how music can be used, in its many diverse and rich forms, we are helpfully reminded that music has the potential to be most beneficial and impactful when it's made in partnership with, rather than done to, people living with dementia.
I would strongly urge anyone wanting to incorporate music into the care they provide for people living with dementia, whether they are care staff, relatives, activity coordinators, musicians, music therapists, trainers, commissioners, or those looking to develop their existing practice, to not only read this book but also put it into practice to help make music an essential part of dementia care."
— Grace Meadows, Director, Music for Dementia 2020
"This is the first book of its kind to provide caregivers and people with a dementia a research-inspired tool kit that practically spotlights the many benefits of singing and music and how to make use of them in one's daily life. The arts are not 'the frosting on the cake' but are very much part of supporting wellbeing and quality of life. The time is now for the arts to be recognised for their importance in the lives of those living with dementia and this book is a major contribution."
— Paul M Camic, PhD, PFRSPH, (Hon) Professor, UCL Dementia Research Centre; Prof Emeritus of Psychology & Public Health, Canterbury Christ Church University
About the Editor:
Catherine Richards is an HCPC Registered Music Therapist and has worked with people with dementia between 1991-1994 and from 2008 to present day. She lives in Kent, UK.