Charity partners with care home to tackle dementia with music

As one of the activities taking place on BBC Music Day 2019 today, a pioneering, luxury care home in London is teaming up with an award-winning charity to introduce music into the care of their residents living with dementia.

South London-based charity Music as Therapy International has over twenty years’ experience of working with care staff in the UK and internationally, and believe passionately in the power of music to make the most of people’s potential, overcoming obstacles such as disability, trauma and mental illness. Their pioneering approach sees them train care staff to use simple music therapy techniques and musical activities, providing them with resources and professional support to make sustainable change.

Chelsea Court Place, located on the King’s Road in Chelsea, is the first in a planned series of bespoke, person-centred care homes run by Innovative Aged Care. The home is now partnering with leading music charity Music as Therapy International, so the residents, all of whom are living with dementia, may benefit from musical activities as part of their tailored care plan. 

Innovative Aged Care is headed by philanthropist and hotelier Laurence Geller CBE. With 24-hour bespoke nursing care, staff to resident ratios of 1:2 and a carefully designed environment managed by a team of industry-leading professionals, their aim is to set the standard for elderly and dementia care in the country. All staff, from carers to the hospitality team, are dementia trained, enabling them to deliver the very best care and experiences which are tailored around the needs of each of their ‘members’. 

Care at Chelsea Court Place comprises an extensive dementia therapies programme which uses the very latest research, techniques and innovations to deliver the very best outcomes. Thanks to this latest partnership with Music as Therapy, the curriculum will now include a dedicated music programme.

The Music as Therapy International collaboration with Chelsea Court Place will be launched on 30th August 2019. It will run for six weeks and will see the staff at Chelsea Court Place trained to use music in a therapeutic way by a professional music therapist. Although initially led by the music therapist, over the course of the project, the Chelsea Court Place team will gradually take on the leadership of the music sessions, eventually running their own music programme independently by the end of the project.

As public recognition increases about the power music has in tackling dementia and improving care standards, the project will culminate during the dementia care themed BBC Music Day 2019. Music as Therapy International is also a leading supporter of the Music for Dementia 2020 campaign fronted by Lauren Laverne.

Alexia Quin, director of Music as Therapy International, said:

“We have seen time and again how our training increases the confidence and commitment of care staff, something especially important at a time when workforce retention is a major issue facing the care sector.

“We are thrilled to be working with an organisation like Innovative Aged Care, who share our commitment to investing in staff, providing person-centred dementia care and ultimately enhancing lives through the power of music.”

Gabby Zackova, the CQC trained Registered Manager of Chelsea Court Place said:

“Music as Therapy International‘s training will enhance the ways in which our staff interact with the people they care for, boosting their skills while giving our residents on various stages of the dementia journey new ways to communicate and express themselves when words are hard to find. At the same time, it will be providing a meaningful group activity which family members can access.

“We look forward to seeing the music group embedded into daily life at CCP, and to a continued partnership between our organisations. I can’t wait to see the impact on our members!”