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One of our Chaplains recently told a story of a resident with dementia who had been a semi professional singer. Every day, staff played her recordings of her performances, reminding her that she was the vocalist. Some weeks later, during a hymn session, the lady came to stand by the Chaplain and began to hum, sing and gesticulate.  “She was back on stage,” the Chaplain recalled, “expressing herself as a singer again.”

When someone develops dementia, it may seem as though they are no longer there as they lose certain powers of communication. But as a pioneer of person-centred dementia care, we at MHA know that the person is very much present, and just needs the right communication channels.

This is why we provide music therapy without charge, offering a non-verbal form of expression and creativity. It is why we are so involved with the Yorkshire Film Archive’s award-winning Memory Bank project, which uses vintage film footage to spark positive reminiscence. It is why we take the time to get to know each resident as an individual, and strive to fill their days with the things they find most fulfilling.

We also know how very hard it can be for their family and friends to feel as though the person they love is slipping away. Our Keeping in Touch booklet helps people to find ways of continuing to communicate with their loved ones who have dementia. Donations are welcome but you can get a copy free of charge by sending us your details.

Les Sudron

Head of Fundraising

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