On Older People's Day – 1 October 2008 – Live Music Now (LMN) will be demonstrating the impact of live music on older people in care with a special performance attended by actor Simon Callow who is an Ambassador for the charity.
Live Music Now, with the support of funders such as Bank of America Foundation, is already working in nearly a thousand residential homes each year, bringing the physical and emotional benefits of involvement in music to older people. Eventually, the charity would like to see these opportunities offered to every care home throughout the UK.
LMN Executive Director, Sarah Derbyshire said: "We want to raise awareness of the opportunities and entitlements for older people across society and encourage those who hold the purse strings to see that this is a worthwhile and effective use of their funds.
"We have seen the benefits live music can bring to older people in care homes: it lifts depression, encourages social interaction, promotes physical activity and generally enhances the quality of life in a home. As a result people's wellbeing is greatly improved. Studies have already shown that involvement in music in this way can ultimately make savings due to the health benefits it brings.
"It costs an average of £400 for a workshop with engaging LMN musicians, who have been properly trained to work with the elderly, and the benefits can last for weeks".
The charity, which employs and trains highly qualified young musicians to work in the community, has developed an 'Active Music, Active Minds' programme, supported by the Bank of America, looking at the impact music has on older people and particularly those suffering with dementia. The Government has identified dementia as a national priority and is a developing a National Dementia Strategy, which involves delivering a high quality of care and support for both those with dementia and their carers.