Music project to help people with dementia in Falkirk

A new musical resource produced by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra aims to help and suppport people living with dementia and their carers throughout the Falkirk area.

By James Trimble
Friday, 1st October 2021, 11:31 am

ReConnect is an interactive project which can bring people together through music to improve well being and quality of life – whatever a person's age or stage of dementia.

The initiative, which has been running since 2013 in partnership with NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh, has been developed for specialist use in healthcare settings to help people with dementia through the creation of improvised pieces of music that draw upon people’s moods or movements.

Now 500 DVD copies of the ReConnect series are being made available to Falkirk’s care homes, community groups, individuals and their carers.

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The DVDs are being provided as part of Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership’s ongoing COVID-19 action plan, aimed at supporting groups and communities affected by the impact of the pandemic.

Patricia Cassidy, partnership chief officer, said: “It is a pleasure to share this valuable resource with Falkirk’s communities. The project helps creates moments of shared joy and connection, helping people to live life to the fullest while enjoying the music.

“I know many of us will have felt the affects of the pandemic on our mental well being, so I hope groups and individuals will benefit from reconnecting with friends, family and loved ones in this way.”

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Dr Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s creative learning director, added: ”It is fantastic to bring ReConnect to a wider audience, as we know that music-making can help people living with dementia feel free, happy, and more connected with those around them.

“You don’t have to be a musician or a singer to join in with our varied playlist - watch and listen, sing, play, or dance along in any way you choose.”

All care homes in the Falkirk area will receive copies of the ReConnect DVDs to use in their common recreation rooms.

With support from Falkirk’s Royal Voluntary Service and Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Carers Centre, DVDs will be offered to individuals living with dementia throughout the community.

People and their carers can also pick up a free DVD by asking their local librarian at any of the Falkirk Community Trust libraries, including the home library service.

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