During the past year, Live Music Now has provided over 800 therapeutic music events for veterans of the armed services and their dependents, throughout the UK. The project was supported by the UK Chancellor using LIBOR funds.
LMN musicians took a variety of different approaches, including participatory workshops, training and support for care staff, and visits to those individuals who were unable to leave their rooms. During the year, we led a total of 827 events, reaching 17,608 older people and 1,725 carers and care staff.
Feedback was gathered from the care homes we visited, provided by managers and activity co-ordinators. 100% of care home respondents said that they had noticed positive responses from the participants. These included “smiling” (100%), “laughter” (68%), “singing” (89%), “conducting” (38%), “tapping feet and fingers” (97%), “dancing” (30%) and more. Further detailed measurements were taken to demonstrate the ways in which people were engaged with their surroundings, and the impact on their ‘mood’, before, during and after the music sessions. This data is being independently evaluated by the University of Winchester, and we will be publishing a full report later this year.
“Beneficiaries of The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Homes have experienced the joy of listening, sharing and opportunities to participate in sessions delivered by Live Music Now. They come alive, dance, move and sing with great gusto that truly is inspirational. Our beneficiaries with sensory loss or dementia feel the energy and vibration of the power of live music. The sense of palpable happiness amongst staff, beneficiaries and visitors who frequently join in is immeasurable. Family members report less anxiety and concerns about hitherto negative perceptions of life in a care home. Beneficiaries are calm, happy, making new friends, having fun and looking forward to future events. I’ve heard our beneficiaries saying “encore, encore!”
– Angela Cullimore-Todd, Head of Care Services
“Within MHA care homes and communities, we look after thousands of older veterans and their dependents. We have found that music can have a range of positive impacts of their lives, even for those living with dementia. Using funds from a LIBOR grant, we have been able to work closely with Live Music Now to provide exciting new services.”
– Liz Jones, Head of Policy and Research, MHA
As part of this project, we have explored new approaches to training and supporting care staff to use music on an ongoing basis. Initial feedback suggests that this has also been very successful.
“What really came through for us about the musicians was their openness to new ideas. This was very important. They took a personal approach and were attached to the residents. They have empowered the whole team”
“There is more music in the home than before the residency and we will continue with it. Staff are happy we have more confidence, skills and commitment and are coming in our days off to take part. Activities team feel very supported and we know that we will get support from the whole team to carry it on. “
There were also some unexpected benefits:
“I think that the biggest impact overall that we are seeing through your input as well as other stakeholders is that we have seen a 50% reduction in the use of all sedative medications being administered and 100% reduction of all PRM medication!”
Live Music Now will continue to provide music support to as many of these care homes as possible, whilst also developing further research into the impact that music can have on people living with dementia, as well as their carers.