MHA’s Music Therapy Team has been shortlisted for the Excellence in Dementia Care category in the prestigious 2015 LaingBuisson Awards.

The national charity has been providing music therapy for people with dementia in its care homes since 2008 and is one of the largest employers of music therapists in the UK. Residents living with dementia in MHA care homes are able to benefit from individual and group music therapy sessions.

A key part of the therapeutic approach is to encourage residents to be interactive with the music, by singing, playing simple percussion instruments or responding to musical cues.

More than 50 MHA homes provide the music therapy programme, running around 14,500 sessions per year.  In 2014 they helped more than 1,600 residents. Each session costs around £30 and is provided free of charge to residents. The costs of £500,000 a year are funded through charitable income.

Service Manager Helen Nairn said: “Being shortlisted for these awards is a tremendous accolade for our music therapists and one they should justifiably feel proud of.

“As a charity we are convinced of the benefits of music therapy in improving the quality of life for our residents. Our therapists encourage people to interact using musical cues, singing or playing an instrument. Sessions are guided by the residents enabling them to use the music to express how they feel.

Our Music Therapists have made a real difference to the lives of many of our residents, their families and carers and our staff and continue to do so every day.

Lead music therapist Ming Hung Hsu added: “Music therapy’s key benefit is how uplifting it is for people’s moods. Sometimes people can sing even if they can’t talk. It strengthens their sense of self and helps alleviate things such as depression, anxiety and frustration. It’s also useful for care staff – it can help them to engage with and build relationships with residents.

“Music therapy helps to access the memories and functions people still have, and care staff can use this to help engage with residents and devise activities that benefit them the most.” 

If you would like to help our music therapy service and make a donation, please visit this page



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