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Call for volunteers for study into benefits of singing for people with dementia 

The transformative power of singing for people with dementia was brought to the public’s attention in the recent BBC1 documentary, ‘Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure’. People living with dementia came together to form a choir and stage a triumphant performance at the Royal Concert Hall. Their experiences showed the power of music to improve the lives and wellbeing of people with dementia.   

Now, a new grant from the Alzheimer’s Society, will allow for further research to examine the effects of group singing on the quality of life of people recently diagnosed with dementia, and the relationship between them and their carer. It is the first randomised, controlled study to focus on how singing can support people who have been diagnosed with dementia in the last 12 months, and their carers.  
 
Justine Schneider, Professor of Mental Health and Social Care, at the University of Nottingham said: “If the benefits of singing can be established scientifically, through this small trial and hopefully with a larger one to follow, it could help to secure more funding for singing. This would provide greater support for people with dementia and their carers to live well with the condition, for as long as possible. In turn this could help delay long-term care admissions and reduce the cost of health and social care.”  
 
Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, commented: “We owe it to the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK to not only fund research to find new treatments, but also to improve support for people today. Alzheimer’s Society is committed to investing in, and accelerating, research like this study which can help transform the lives of people affected by dementia. At our Singing for the Brain groups, we see the positive effect that music has on people’s wellbeing and mood. We’re delighted to be funding this project which will help better understand the impact music has on Group of people singing for people with dementiapeople affected by dementia. But research like this simply cannot happen or progress without people taking part so we’d encourage anyone interested to get in touch with the team today.” 

Call for volunteers for groundbreaking study into benefits of singing for people with dementia

The research team, from the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham, is looking for about 80 pairs, made up of the person with dementia and their main carer. Although some participants, chosen at random, will be asked to wait before they start attending the singing group, everyone will eventually have the chance to attend 10 weeks of free weekly singing sessions, led by experienced musicians.   
 
Researchers will use questionnaires to collect information about quality of life, mood, cognition and the relationship between care partners. They will also talk to people who attend the singing groups and observe sessions, to understand how people take part, what they get from it and whether they change over time.   
 
The singing groups will be fun, informal and no singing experience is necessary. The sessions will be held in Mapperley initially, with more starting in the Mansfield area later in the year. 
 
For further information or to volunteer, call 0115 748 4315 or email, preside.research@nottingham.ac.uk  

 

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