Our first blog of the week looks at how music can be used as a way to help care for and support people living with dementia. It was contributed by Doctor Victoria Williamson, Director of Music and Wellbeing, at the University of Sheffield.
Music is powerful, multi-functional, ageless and universal: one of the greatest human inventions.
You will, no doubt, know music that instantly transports you back in time to a treasured memory. Lyrics pop automatically to your mind. You remember music from decades ago but struggle with the names of people you met just days before.
Psychological studies support these anecdotal accounts of the power of music in long-term memory. Individuals who face extreme challenges to their memory, such as amnesia or dementia, rarely lose these musical connections.
I run the ‘Music and Wellbeing’ research unit at the University of Sheffield and for the last year my team has been looking at the impacts of live music sessions in dementia care*. Nine South Yorkshire care homes opened their doors to us and we recorded remarkable moments between the community of individuals living with dementia, their carers and loved ones, and the visiting musicians. Continue reading
Posted in Dementia, Health, Health and Wellbeing, Research
Tagged Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, dementia, dementia Age UK, dementia and music, music therapy and dementia, older people, University of Sheffield
In health care, the word ‘frailty’ carries a lot of baggage. In its most positive sense, it is a phrase used by older people’s specialists to describe a particular state of health, usually characterised by multiple or complex physical and mental health and social needs.
This can then be a gateway to proactive care and support joined-up around the individual.
At the less positive end, it is a shorthand for older people in later old age, with multiple long-term conditions that are almost too difficult to manage. In this case the so-called ‘frail elderly’ may be recognised for having high needs but thought of as almost beyond help and given little support.
It is well known that older people do not identify with the word ‘frailty’. This was a strong finding from research we carried out in 2013.
However, we wanted to understand in more detail how older people felt about being referred to as “frail” and whether or not this could impact on their engagement with services. Continue reading
Posted in Health, Health and Wellbeing, NHS, Research
Tagged Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, Britain Thinks, British Geriatrics Society, frailty, Frailty: Language and Perceptions, Health, Health & wellbeing, living with frailty, NHS, NHS England, older people, older people being frail