Improving the health and well-being
of people living in East Yorkshire
and Northern Lincolnshire
In autumn 2019 PAC launched a pilot scheme of Singing with Dementia sessions. Awareness of the benefits of music for people living with dementia has grown rapidly and as PAC already have a choir that meet weekly on an evening it was decided to trial afternoon sessions for those with dementia and their carer or relative. The fortnightly sessions are run by a qualified Community Musician and assistant. The group sings a familiar repertoire of songs that, PAC hopes, will unlock memories. Within the 2 hour session there is time for refreshments, a friendly chat and plenty of reminiscences. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the sessions are really beneficial to participants who often have limited opportunities for socialising. It is amazing how many of those with dementia may not remember what they did yesterday but have the capacity to remember songs from decades ago. Carers have also reinforced how much their wards enjoy the music and the interaction. The carers themselves see it having a positive impact not only on those with dementia but on themselves – one daughter also said bringing her mother to the group improved her father’s well-being as he had a break for 2 or 3 hours. A trustee from the organisation Dementia Friendly East Riding attends regularly to engage with participants and give advice. After only a short time there are 14 to 22 people attending and we want to extend the marketing to attract more people. The NHS East Riding CCG declared in January that there are currently 3,314 people on the dementia register, a rise of 68% over 5 years. This is not a situation that will disappear in the near future. The sessions which have been funded by PAC, Friends of PAC and from donations from local businesses will continue to the end of March 2020. Pocklington Arts Centre is committed to making arts activities for all and to this end would wish to continue these sessions from April 2020.