Lost Chord

Lost Chord is a charity that organises therapeutic interactive musical sessions, in residential homes and day centres, for people with dementia. Using highly trained professional musicians with a variety of musical instruments and styles, we attempt to improve wellbeing, quality of life and self-esteem. From 110 sessions/year at its inception in 1999, Lost Chord now organises over 1400 sessions/year in 130 venues, affecting the lives of more than 20,000 people with dementia annually. Lost Chord works in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society in their memory cafes, with the local hospital trusts to give regular performances in dementia wards, with Sheffield University involved in research and local ethnic minority alliance to establish a BME memory café. We train musicians in how to involve and interact with their audience, as improving skills and competences and broadening their approach to their own music al career. We also offer training sessions to volunteers and carers on the impact of music on the brain and its importance in the future care of people with dementia, thereby disseminating good practice throughout the UK.

Updated:
10 February 2016
Location:
National
Sectors:
Recreation, Health, Arts, Care, Hospitals and Hospital Trusts, Voluntary Sector

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Outcomes 

Promoting the use of music as a therapeutic tool in an attempt to stimulate responses from those struggling to cope with dementia and in particular those who are unable to walk, talk, feed themselves or communicate in any way. Setting  examples of good practice in the use of therapeutic music to enhance the quality of life of those with dementia.  Helping to produce national guidelines for the use of music as an effective intervention assisting in the treatment of dementia. Helping to implement research into the effect of music on those living with dementia. Helping to form partnerships especially with The Alzheimer's Society 'Singing for the brain' scheme.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

The challenges are inevitably financial i.e. musicians fees, travel expenses, subsistence, volunteer travel expenses. 

Insufficient research into the value of music in the care and treatment of dementia.

A lack of understanding and appreciation of the impact of music on the brain. i.e. an appreciation that with the two sides to the brain, the left is responsible for speech and original thought and the right deals with music, song and dance. Because the left hand side is the first to deteriorate with the onset of dementia the right is often still intact, therefore when coherent speech has been lost people living with dementia could still sing all the words to a familiar song. Therefore helping them to communicate through the power of music and giving back their self esteem and improving their quality of life. A quality of life which can easily be destroyed by an overzealous drug regime. 

2. Actions

  • Looking into innovative schemes

    Looking into innovative schemes to raise funds to finance the scheme throughout the country.

    Status:
    Investigating

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Accredited on-ste training sessions for care-workers into The Impact of Music on the rain and its Importance in the Future care of People with Dementia

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    In progress (not in quarterly report of DAA). 

  • Applying for grant funding

    Applying for grant funding to support the research into the effect of music on the brain particularly into the care of those suffering with dementia.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Parnership work with Sheffield University implementing funded research  into the effect of Lost Chord sessions - the outcomers being used to secure funding for more extensive research

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    In progress (not in quarterly report of DAA). 

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    Still awaiting the outcome of the funding application to Awards for All, however if we are successful in securing this funding and setting up 4 new dementia cafes, I hope this will be a model to work closer with the Alzheimer’s Society particularly linking in with their singing for the brain scheme. Alternative therapies and in particular music is now of crucial importance with the reduction of antipsychotic drugs throughout the UK.

    I have been successful in securing funding of £50,000 for Lost Chord’s work for people with dementia, from The May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust in the United States. An integral part of the application and indeed any application made by Lost Chord is our membership of the DAA and the importance of its work in the field of dementia. Making particular reference to the recent campaigns was an opportunity to further promote the success of the DAA outside the UK. 

  • Organising training courses

    Organising training courses which could be accessed by carers on the effects and use of music as a necessary intervention in the care of people living with dementia.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Ongoing training sessions for new volunteers and care-workers in operation every two months in the South Yorkshire area

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    In progress (not in quarterly report of DAA). 

  • Seminar for alternative therapies

    Looking into the possibility of a seminar for alternative therapies effective in the care of dementia.

    .

    Status:
    Investigating

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    The Launch took place of the Research by Sheffield University into the impact of music on people with dementia. This was as part of the Arts and Humanities Festival in Sheffield and particularly the Music and Well Being research conducted by Dr Victoria Williamson.

    Presentations were given by David Robinson, lead Music Therapist from Nordoff Robins,on Music Therapy, Helena Muller, Chief Executive of Lost Chord on the effects of music using case studies and Professor Lord Winston

     

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    In talks with Sheffield University, local Alzeheimer's Society and Age UK into organsing a seminar on alternative therapies covering the North and Midlands

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    In progress (not in quarterly report of DAA). 

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    Attended the Great British Care Show in York on 2nd May where I was invited to speak about the impact of music on people with dementia and its importance in future dementia care, particularly in the light of the successful reduction of antipsychotic drugs which was highlighted by the campaign last year of the Dementia Action Alliance.

    This gave rise to the opportunity to promote the present campaign for early diagnosis. The next Great British Care Show is in Brighton on 30th May where there will be another opportunity to promote the DAA’s achievements and aspirations for people with dementia.

  • Dementia Awareness training opportunities following the launch of the Dementia Awareness Toolkit in March 2013 developed by WRVS in partnership with Darnall Dementia Group

    Status:
    Planning
  • Partnership working

    Working in partnership with Sinfonia Viva in Derbyshire, an orchestra with vast experience of outreach work but not in the field of dementia, on a project to establish what impact improvised music has on people with dementia who rely to a greater extent on the memory of their past to support their existence in the present.  In this way we are hoping to support inter-regional cooperation and the sharing of good practice in the field of dementia care.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Working in partnership with Sheffield University to conduct research into the impact of music on people with dementia using Lost Chord sessions in the Sheffield area. The results of this initial research will be used to secure further funding to impliment more extensive research into the effects of music.

  • BME Memory Cafe

    Secure funding from Awards For All to work In partnership with REMA and Alzheimer's Society to implement a Memory Cafe for the BME Community.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    The BME memory cafe has been established and is proving successful in reaching out into this hard to reach area of the community. There are indications that more people in the BME community are seeking early diagnosis and the numbers of people with dementia and their carers has doubled over recent months.