Remember That Song

‘Remember that Song’ is a music group for people in the early to moderate stages of dementia and their carers, making music in a friendly, relaxed and informal setting. Aims: to increase communication; to provide a social network around the activity of singing; to be positive about dementia and supportive of those all who take part. We are an independent organisation and work with a group of about 30 members (12-15 people with dementia, each with their carer); we have about 10 volunteers helping. Our musical activities are led by three trained musicians who have gained valuable experience through Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Singing for the Brain®’project. Other volunteers are on hand to assist with the singing, organise the refreshments and help to look after members of the group. We meet weekly in term-time at St Thomas Church Hall, Cowick Street, Exeter. There is an initial one-off registration fee of £5.00 to join the group. This covers the member with dementia and their carer. Donations are invited towards the cost of refreshments each week. “Remember that Song” relies on donations and the kind generosity of its sponsors to run the group. All musicians and helpers give their services on a voluntary basis.

Updated:
4 April 2016
Location:
South West
Sectors:
Arts, Medical, Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA)

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?

Our aim is to ensure that all volunteers, including musical leaders, have an understanding of dementia and how best to support those with dementia and their carers in the setting of musical activities.

Our action plan is to:

Provide a varied and stimulating musical programme via regular briefing sessions for the whole team; occasional training sessions; liaison with other bodies (e.g. some volunteers are members of the Alzheimer’s Society); sharing of experience gained by some volunteers who are involved in other dementia-related activities (e.g. memory cafés) Also via joint planning by the three musical leaders a term in advance; records kept of activities undertaken; listening to members: what kind of musical activities do they enjoy?; support available for musical leaders by the national organisation “Making Music”, of which we are a member. Involve occasional community outreach in sessions via the involvement of local sixth formers as occasional volunteers; occasional visits by primary school children; occasional visits by guest singers/instrumentalists and members of the community such as the Lord Mayor. To fill available places for people with dementia and their carers via liaison with Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, local GP surgeries etc. poster/leaflet publicity; creation and maintenance of our own website and publicity/liaison as above including personal recommendation by existing volunteers.

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

To ensure that all volunteers, including musical leaders, have an understanding of dementia and how best to support those with dementia and their carers in the setting of musical activities. To provide a varied and stimulating musical programme. To involve occasional community outreach in sessions. To fill available places for people with dementia and their carers. To recruit appropriate new volunteers as required. To continue to raise sufficient funds to maintain our activities.

2. Actions