We are in the midst of a pandemic and now more than ever before, how as a society we respond to and care for the most vulnerable, should be the marker of how we judge the efficacy of all interventions. Every day we are seeing alarming figures and heartbreaking stories that reveal the true cost of the pandemic for people with dementia and their loved ones. We know people living with dementia are disproportionately affected by coronavirus and are at greater risk of social isolation and loneliness.
At Music for Dementia we understand this frightening reality and are deeply concerned by the immediate and long-term implications for people with dementia. We know music cannot physically protect people but, we do know it can provide a beacon of comfort, compassion, empathy, joy, community and collaboration to heal both the trauma of the crisis and our underlying societal crises. Since lockdown, enabling and facilitating people to access either their regular music sessions or providing alternative music-based offerings has been our priority. We adapted existing resources such as our Musical Map and produced new ones, including our Musical Guide and m4d Radio.
The series contributors will include: Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia; James Sanderson Head of Personalisation at the NHS; Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive ILC-UK; leading charities and several very moving accounts from the front line.
We see our COVID-19 blogs as ‘living’ documents as the pandemic unfolds and are launching the series with the principal aim of inspiring and supporting the wider community to continue to support and prioritise people with dementia. The series will provide a medium for opinion and comment not just on dementia and music, but more broadly the world we now find ourselves in. Drawing on our relationships from the field of dementia, music, health and social care and politics, we will hear personal perceptions and reflections on the current crisis and critically some key suggestions on how we can move forward.