SoCo provides engaging and vibrant music-making and multi-arts activities for the elderly and those with dementia. These tailored, interactive programmes, from sing-alongs to songwriting, storytelling to music and movement, offer a multitude of mental and physical health benefits.

The Benefits of Music on Older People and those with Dementia:

Older people living in care homes can benefit greatly from being given the chance to take part in music-making as it can improve their quality of life and create a happier place to live.

The benefits of music on both the mental and physical wellbeing of residents is numerous, and it is particularly beneficial for those living with dementia as it can bring rare moments of clarity and calm for those that suffer from confusion and agitation as their memory deteriorates. Music’s strong connection to emotion can support a reduction in anxiety by distracting attention away from stressful situations. Even for those where some areas of the brain are damaged and communication is restricted, listening to and taking part in music-making can tap into their ‘musical memory’ and produce a strong emotional response. By accessing the parts of the brain that remain unaffected by dementia, music becomes an avenue for communication and engagement.

Our Music Active programmes:

  • Are fun and enjoyable – they help participants to relax, reduce stress and can be used to maintain calmness and reduce anxiety.
  • Improve emotional and social functioning by using music as a means of self-expression and communication – a particularly effective tool for those with dementia.
  • Are sociable and bring people together. Our interactive sessions encourage participation from residents, their families and staff, reducing social isolation and building vital connections. They can be conducive to improving and maintaining relationships and trust between residents and caregivers, offering plenty of opportunities to share stories and experiences.
  • Promote positive mental health by boosting confidence and self-esteem.
  • Support improvements in cognitive function through the development of creative skills.
  • Stimulate participants’ memory by inspiring reminiscence and exploring musical identity and personal archiving. This is essential for those living with dementia as it can instil a sense of identity and positive memories.
  • Create an outlet for self-expression through music sharing, improvisation and song/lyric writing.
  • Support the development of physical wellbeing through the use of movement with music.
Click here to download the Music Active brochure

Covid-19 Update

The impact of coronavirus on our service users has been strongly felt and in particular, those in care homes or suffering from dementia have been disproportionately impacted.

Through the use of accessible online platforms, we have been able to take the learning activities to participants’ homes in order to tackle social isolation. We have successfully adapted our delivery approach whilst still delivering core activities, such as singing, songwriting and storytelling, to keep delivery as interactive as possible. The situation has enabled us to develop a personalised one-on-one delivery programme that supports those in domiciliary care, their families and staff.

Our members have certain medical conditions which makes the lockdown incredibly hard for them and some have deteriorated since lockdown. Doing the SoCo sessions (Singing 60s Online) with our customers really impacted them in a positive way and it gave them a chance to socialise and reminisce. The sessions really gave our members something to look forward to during these difficult times and helped them keep mentally and physically stimulated and kept them going during the tough months. It made our members feel valued and important and helped them to talk about their lives and turn them into a song which is really positive and made them feel special. Not only did it impact our members and our staff, but it also impacted the families and the carers who look after our members daily.

Martyn Bowyer, Care Home Manager, SCiA

It's been great for the Music Leaders to come along and lead us in song and music. I looked forward to the sessions every week as they always made me happy.

Iris, participant

Having experienced working with SoCo before we knew that taking part in this project (Singing 60s Online) remotely would benefit our customers greatly and give them something to look forward to for a few weeks. We have had some wonderful feedback from the staff when they have been to visit doing the Zoom sessions; customers have been a little sad and lonely and some of the photos/videos that I have seen are wonderful to see.

Alison Fisher, Day Opportunities Manager, SCiA

All the customers and staff have really enjoyed the sessions, listening and joining in with the songs. You're friendly, humorous and professional manner with everyone has endeared us all to you. We really hope to see you again very soon.

SCiA Staff

I loved the social aspect and hearing and singing the old songs.

Bernard, participant

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