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'What would life be: without a song or a dance, what are we?' A report from the Commission on Dementia and Music

Author(s)

BOWELL Sally, BAMFORD Sally-Marie

Publisher(s):

International Longevity Centre UK

Publication year:

2018

This report examines the current landscape of using therapeutic music with people with dementia, outlines the value and benefits of music therapy, and looks at what needs to be done to ensure that everyone with dementia is able to access music. Informed by the Commission on Dementia and Music, the report brings together a wide range of evidence, including academic papers, written and oral evidence, and evidence from site visits. The evidence shows that music can help to minimise symptoms of dementia, such as agitation and can help tackle anxiety and depression. Evidence also shows that music can help improves the quality of life for people with dementia by increasing social interaction and decreasing stress. The report also shows that although the dementia and music environment is supported by a dedicated network of individuals and organisations, they work in a complex and poorly coordinate system. The field is also defined by sporadic access, with only relatively few people with dementia having access. It concludes that the sector would benefit from increased funding, further cost-effective research to boost recognition and funding, and increased public awareness about the benefits of music. The report includes recommendations to help improve access to music for people with dementia. (Edited publisher abstract)


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