Music performances for older people hit the high note
Older people feel less stressed and isolated after taking part in live music performances, a study by a national charity has found.
Music in Hospitals (MiH) hosted 100 concerts for older people in care homes in Greater London and 54 concerts throughout England and Wales for people with neuro disabilities, mental illnesses and those who have suffered a stroke.
Of the 2,450 people who have attended the concerts so far, 97% felt they experienced an improvement in their mood, 83% reported reduced stress levels and 86% felt a reduction in feelings of isolation. The performances also led to increased social interaction for 90% of the audiences and 77% reported the music improved their ability to reminisce.
The concerts were funded by a grant of £35,800 from leading health plan provider Simplyhealth.
Our grant enabled these concerts to take place but it’s great to learn about how our donation has had a positive impact on people. Making a difference isn’t just measured in what we’ve been able to fund, it’s the smaller, more personal things, for example, when someone suffering from dementia remembers a lyric to a song during one of these performances – that’s where our donation has made a difference to someone’s life and those around them. That’s why working with charities such as Music in Hospitals is so important to us, it enables us to extend our reach to help people with their everyday health needs.
Music in Hospitals aims to improve the lives of adults and children with a range of illnesses and disabilities through professionally performed live music in hospitals, hospices, day care centre, special schools and nursing and residential homes.
Our partnership goes back to 2013 but it really started with the award of a grant in 2014. This has allowed us at Music in Hospitals to improve the wellbeing of a great number of older people, many of whom have dementia, through the provision of live music concerts. Research has shown that it is not only service users who benefit, but also healthcare professionals and other staff as well as family and friends who might be visiting. At a concert in a residential care home in London, a staff member commented ‘a lady aged 101 came with her son. They both enjoyed it as it was something they could participate in together and not worry about making conversation. They could both relax and just listen’.
Thanks to Simplyhealth, over 3,000 older people in healthcare will experience the genuine benefits that live music can generate; we are enormously grateful for their support and we hope and believe our partnership has a very bright future.
To watch a video about the work of Music in Hospitals, please visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdY0yxcr0aA