The research was carried out over six months in MHA care homes around the UK and engaged over 100 people living with dementia. Focusing on the use of electronic instruments, Casio provided lighting keyboards which were used in music therapy and activity sessions.
The lighting technology of the keyboards meant that participants could be guided to the correct notes by following the lights on the keyboard, therefore no prior piano experience was necessary. The project aimed to gain a better understanding and insight into how the musical instruments, as part of a musical care plan, can better help those living with dementia at various stages of the condition.
The results of the research highlight the great benefits that music can provide to those living with dementia. Ninety-five per cent of those who participated said they were elated or felt happy after completing a song on the keyboard – a statement backed up by eighty-six per cent of music therapists.
Other key findings from the report include:
- 79% of music therapists and 64% of care home staff reported improvement in participants’ memory recall after playing the key lighting keyboard.
- 95% of music therapists and 71% of care home staff were in agreement that playing the keyboard increased or enhanced opportunities for social interaction for the residents with staff and relatives.
- Over 70% of music therapists saw a reduction in anxiety and depression among the residents while care home staff reported a notable increase in their sense of fulfilment and achievement, as well as significant improvement with symptoms such as agitation.
Grace Meadows, Campaign Director at Music for Dementia, commented on the project: “It’s innovative, creative initiatives such as ‘Light Up My Life’ which demonstrate how easy it can be for carers to make music a part of good dementia care. We would like to see this programme rolled out nationwide as a way of supporting carers to provide the best possible personalised care for those living with dementia.”
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