Expert View – COVID-19

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.

Why people with dementia are disproportionately impacted by Covid-19

Alistair Burns CBE, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, University of Manchester
The worldwide effects of COVID -19 have been well documented but older people suffer the highest mortality and negative social consequences of the condition. People with dementia can […]

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Faced with a ‘common enemy’ communities have come together informally and formally to support each other. Will this continue given the stark inequalities which will increasingly punctuate our experiences of Covid?

Paul Corrigan, CBE, Former Director of Strategy and Commissioning for NHS […]

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Making the case for music becoming mainstream in dementia care

Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive ILC-UK
Music has a powerful role to play in bringing people together. While musical styles come and go out of fashion over the generations, the joy of music, singing and dancing is something we all share as humans. The importance […]

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As a music therapist, never have I felt the power and strength of music more: A personal perspective from a music therapist working with people with dementia

Ming Hung Hsu, Music Therapy Lead for MHA
Many of us can probably still recall a video of a ballad sung out in solidarity into an empty […]

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What are the implications for the BAME dementia community and how do we ensure service provision responds effectively?

Mohammed Ak Rauf, BAME Dementia Consultant.
Dementia amongst Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities is set to rise seven to eight-fold in the next three […]

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Why music matters to me even more during Covid-19: A personal perspective from a person living with dementia

Jennifer Bute.
While we were immersed in music before, we need it even more now during this time of Covid-19: through it we can rediscover ourselves in its rhythms, its memories and its beauty. […]

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What will happen to health and social care now? What lessons will be learnt for dementia care and support post Covid-19?

Rt Hon Sir Norman Lamb, Former Minister for Care and Support, Department of Health.
The COVID crisis has really exposed the cracks and frailties in both the NHS and the social care system […]

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Why the fear of social isolation and loneliness maybe as great as that of Covid-19 and how we can ‘overcome’

Andy Nazer, Campaigns Manager, Campaign to End Loneliness.
This blog will go beyond the physical consequences of Covid-19 and examine the potential dangers of loneliness
[…]

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Why is music even more relevant during a time of crisis?

Grace Meadows, Programme Director, Music for Dementia.
In a crisis we panic. Our heart rate quickens, our stress levels rocket, and our anxiety is heightened. We move into a fight or flight state, and feelings can become inexpressible. Our instinct, as social creatures, is to be with one another physically […]

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