Music making in the community with people living with dementia and care partners – ‘I’m leaving feeling on top of the world’

Smith, SK ORCID:, Innes, A ORCID: and Bushell, S 2022, 'Music making in the community with people living with dementia and care partners – ‘I’m leaving feeling on top of the world’' , Health and Social Care in the Community, 30 (1) , pp. 114-123.

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Evidence exists relating to music-based initiatives and positive health outcomes for people living with dementia who can access them. Yet, knowledge about the impact of ‘music-making’ on the wellbeing of community dwelling people with dementia is limited. Much of the existing evidence about the benefits of music is focused on care home settings where initiatives can be readily applied as part of a weekly schedule of activities. Therefore, this initiative aimed to provide opportunities to participate in music-making, to increase social interaction and ultimately wellbeing in a community environment. Ten music-making session were scheduled for community dwelling people living with dementia and care-partners, once a month between September 2019 and March 2020. Three sessions did not take place due to Covid19. Eighteen participants consented to take part including 7 people living with dementia, 5 care-partners and 6 former care-partners. Baseline semi-structured interviews explored the lived experience of music and expectations of the upcoming music-making cafes. Self-report questionnaires captured ‘in the moment’ experiences of each music-making cafe. Follow-up semi-structured interviews explored the impact of music-making on participants self-reported wellbeing. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. The findings demonstrate that participating in the music-making café benefitted the self-reported wellbeing of participants in three ways: first, a sense of camaraderie that enabled the facilitation of connections with others; second, creating opportunities to ‘level the playing field’ by always assuming a person’s strengths and abilities; third, group participation in musicmaking meets a need for meaningful musical experiences. We conclude that participating in musicmaking is a powerful medium to promote wellbeing for community dwelling people living with dementia and care-partners.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Health and Social Care in the Community
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0966-0410
Related URLs:
Funders: Dowager Countess Eleanor Peel Trust and The Booth Charities
Depositing User: Dr Sarah kate Smith
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2021 15:36
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 16:41

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