'Fun' music performances help dementia patients in Sheffield hospitals

Kind-hearted people have raised more than £40,000 to provide musical performances to help patients with dementia have a more enjoyable stay in hospital.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 6:00 am
Donations to Sheffield Hospitals Charity’s Dementia Appeal have contributed to more regular live music performances from Lost Chord, for patients with dementia to attend.

Donations to Sheffield Hospitals Charity’s Dementia Appeal enabled the South Yorkshire based charity Lost Chord to provide more regular live music performances.

Musicians go onto the hospital wards and perform bay to bay, and they also perform in the day rooms which patients can go along to.

Matron Katie Ashton Ward said: “Research into music for patients with dementia is overwhelming and suggests it can trigger memories which have been long forgotten.

“The sessions we hold are run by musicians who really get patients involved. Even the patients who are perhaps bed bound can hear what’s going on.

“The music helps keep patients physically active as it’s associated with dance, and the music we play is from an era which they can remember.

“Sometimes before these sessions, patients will struggle to put a single sentence together and it’s just incredible to see the sudden recall of words and how they sing along to the songs.

“The sessions not only benefit patients, but staff as well, because they have a massive impact on the ward as it makes it really fun and light-hearted.”

Some sessions are already being delivered in hospital, but due to limited funding they are only available on some wards and are also not frequent enough, but thanks to the generosity of local people, this is beginning to change.

One in four patients in Sheffield hospitals have dementia, according to figures from Sheffield Hospitals Charity. The sessions provide them with a welcome distraction, a reason to get out of bed and a chance to engage with others.

Patients can either sit and listen to the music or sing along and some even choose to take part by dancing.

You can make a donation to support patients living with dementia being treated in hospital online at sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/dementia.