Supporting the older generation

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


Alzheimer Scotland’s Musical Memories project has been successfully supporting people with dementia and their carers for over five years. Musical Memories is a singing group for people with dementia, their family, friends and carers and enables people with dementia to live well in their communities. The group enables people to come together and share the positive experience of singing together and also having fun. Even when someone with dementia may have difficulty communicating with their loved ones verbally, singing together can keep the path of communication and connection open. This can be invaluable both to the person with dementia and their carer. This new project will take the musical memories experience into care homes and sheltered housing complexes in and around Aberdeen.
Reaching into care homes and sheltered housing complexes will enable people with dementia, with a higher level of support needs, who would not ordinarily be able to access these sessions to benefit from the social aspect of singing and also the associated health benefits; improved confidence, cognition, communication, engagement, reduced stress levels and improved relationships. Members of the community, young and old alike will be invited to join the sessions reducing the stigma around dementia, reduce feelings of isolation and ultimately empower individuals and their communities. Volunteers will be trained to deliver sessions so that the project can continue long after the funded part of the pilot project has ended.

Musical Memories Currently supports around 70 people each week. The project funding will at least double that and include far more people currently unable to access the group and engage with people in the local community. Initially these weekly sessions in different locations will be supported by a team of volunteers who will receive training in effective music making in dementia care; the purchase of a portable keyboard; the purchase of music therapy specific percussion instruments; staff costs and the production of singing specific resources that can be used by the care homes and sheltered housing complexes as a part of their current activities programme.
Bob tells us how he and his wife benefitted from Musical Memories and what this project will achieve:

”I know from Personal experience how Diane and I came to the group knowing no one and feeling alone and being the only ones in this position, at the first meeting, Diane and I enjoyed the music & singing. We were made so welcome and this made me realise that we were not alone

I think that the success of Musical Memories in Aberdeen can be replicated well in other areas following the same style and format as the Alzheimer Scotland’s group as it will involve Carers, Volunteers, Young People and old, Professional and amateur musicians and singers. Through the group, Diane and I made many new friends who all understood the illness and helped us in the smallest of ways, from making sure Diane was okay in the toilet, to getting a cup of tea or even just having the chance for us to speak to someone in a safe and understanding environment.”

Project Video

Alzheimer Scotland

Moment of Pride

That I live in a community that has embraced and sustained Musical Memories for five years. At our first Alzheimer Scotland Musical Memories session we knew no one. But soon we made many new friends. With this funding the project will support even more people with dementia and their family.

Location: Aberdeen