Music therapy – how music therapy is helping older people and persons with dementia.

Music therapy for dementia
Music therapy for dementia

Leicester’s Hospitals are working together with OPUS, a leading provider of music in healthcare settings, to bring music onto wards for older people and for those with a dementia.

Following the success of their previous visits to Older Peoples wards, OPUS will now visit all three sites of Leicester’s Hospitals on a weekly basis over the next two years.

Two musicians will be visiting the hospital for a day each week, providing music and song on various wards. OPUS musicians engage with patients, visitors and staff in music-making, creating an environment conducive to health and well-being. The musicians also carry a variety of instruments for patients to use.

Music and singing creates an opportunity for patients to reminisce and retrieve memories which at other times may be lost. This initiative has been supported by the Arts Council and Leicester Hospitals Charity.

Justine Allen, Older Peoples Sister, said: “The first visit from OPUS was inspiring and overwhelming to say the least.  Patients with dementia who had found it difficult to communicate beforehand began to respond. They clapped, touched, opened their eyes, smiled, tapped and sang.

“It was amazing to be part of and was great to see the positive impact OPUS had on the overall environment, for both staff and visitors to the ward.”

OPUS Music Community Interest Company (CIC) is a UK leader in taking music-making into healthcare settings.  The core team of musicians from OPUS are Nick Cutts, Richard Kensington, Oli Matthews and Sarah Matthews.

Nick Cutts, Director and musician at OPUS, added: “We are delighted to be extending our practice at Leicester’s Hospitals to include work with older patients and those with dementia. We know from our experience, and from recent research, that live music-making makes a huge difference within hospitals both to the health and wellbeing of the patients, but also to the visitors and staff.”

The OPUS visits began this September, to support national Older People’s Month, among a calendar of events and ward celebrations arranged by Leicester’s Hospitals patient experience team.

For more information about OPUS, please visit www.opusmusic.org

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