The transformative power of singing for people with dementia was brought to the public’s attention in the recent BBC1 documentary, ‘Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure’. People living with dementia came together to form a choir and stage a triumphant performance at the Royal Concert Hall. Their experiences showed the power of music to improve the lives and wellbeing of people with dementia.
Now, a new grant from the Alzheimer’s Society, will allow for further research to examine the effects of group singing on the quality of life of people recently diagnosed with dementia, and the relationship between them and their carer. It is the first randomised, controlled study to focus on how singing can support people who have been diagnosed with dementia in the last 12 months, and their carers.
If the benefits of singing can be established scientifically, through this small trial and hopefully with a larger one to follow, it could help to secure more funding for singing. This would provide greater support for people with dementia and their carers to live well with the condition, for as long as possible. In turn this could help delay long-term care admissions and reduce the cost of health and social care.