Uploaded on Jun 29, 2010
LIVE Music Now South West won a European funding bid, bringing much-needed cash to the region and hit national priorities to help people with dementia.
The charity, based in Wellington, Somerset, teamed up with Reminiscence Learning and Abbeyfield Nursing Home to deliver a groundbreaking new project to older people in and around the county. They hope to widen the scheme throughout the West country.
The Quality of Life project looks at new ways of using music as a way to improve the lives of those with dementia.
LMN SW has been providing a series of musical workshops at The Abbeyfield, Bishops Hull, Taunton , Somerset, with a wide variety of leading musicians from around the world agreeing to perform, including, James Sherlock, winner of the 2007 BBC Fame Academy: The Next Generation and vocalist and bassist Miranda Sykes from Show of Hands.
With the help of Reminiscence Learning's 'Angels' the project looked at new ways to engage those suffering from the illness through a range of reminiscence activities and a variety of music.
"This will trigger and stimulate our long term memory and enable us to record individual stories," said Fiona Mahoney, Chief Executive Reminiscence Learning.
"It is really important to older people in the community as it gives them the opportunity to access high quality music outside of the concert hall. It has been proven to have positive impacts on mental health and wellbeing within residential homes."
The Meaningful Moments Project delivered by Live Music Now nationally in 2007 found that measurable changes were recorded for: stress levels (institutional and individual), communication and expression, interaction between older people and fellow residents, older people and families and friends and older people and care home staff.
For the next two years the target for the project will be to produce support material for artists from all fields working with dementia.
Ali Smith, Director of Live Music Now South West said "We are delighted to be the coordinating partner in this major European project. Live Music Now will be able to use our 32 years of experience working with dementia to lead this exciting and rewarding project".
Marie-Pierre Degive, spokesperson for the European Commission, said "The Commission is pleased to be able to support such an interesting and topical project.
"With a significant increase in dementia throughout Europe Quality of Life will help address the needs of those with Dementia and seek, through performing arts, ways in which the burden of dementia can be relieved , for those who have the condition, by the family and carers who surround them."
The partners involved come from a variety of backgrounds including arts organisations, training providers, the health sector, adult education and university researchers and all have extensive experience in dealing with dementia in their own fields.
Through the Quality of Life project they will share, compare and combine their expertise to create models for an artist-lead approach to enhancing the lives of those affected by dementia.
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