Commission on Dementia and Music Call for Written Evidence

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Commission on Dementia and Music

Call for Written Evidence

Introduction to the Commission on Dementia and Music

A Commission on Dementia and Music has been set up to explore the current and potential role of music-based interventions in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and end of life care for people with dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over one million by 2025. By 2051, it is estimated that this will have reached two million people. Currently in the UK, one in six people over the age of 80 have dementia, with 40,000 people under the age of 65 living with the disease. As such, an increased and sustained public and policy focus on dementia is crucial.

Music-based interventions cover a wide range of activity, from music therapy in either an individual or group capacity, to volunteer-run choirs, orchestral performances, and apps permitting individuals with dementia to engage with music, such as by designing personalised playlists. These activities can take place in many locations, from care homes to community centres, religious venues to individuals’ homes. The breadth and flexibility of music-based interventions means that they can be built into an individual’s personalised care plan and can often be tailored according to their preferences and needs.

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