Christopher Eccleston backs Music for Dementia's campaign for World Alzheimer’s Month

Virgin Radio

1 Sep 2021, 15:27

Christopher Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston

You know how great it feels to share your favourite songs with someone, to introduce people to music they may not have heard, or just to listen to some old favourites together? Well, that’s exactly what Music for Dementia is asking people in the UK to do to mark World Alzheimer’s Month. 

Music for Dementia works with more than 200 charities and organisations to make music a standard part of dementia care. Its #powerof30 campaign, which is supported by former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston, requests that everyone makes time to listen to music with a loved one for 30 minutes a week this September. The aim is to get people to benefit from the power that music has to promote and support wellbeing, which for many is at an all-time low after lockdown.

There are 850,000 people living in the UK with dementia, of which the most common cause is Alzheimer’s, and music is an important way for carers, family and friends to connect with them and enrich and enhance quality of life. 

As well as being able to help reduce isolation and support communication for people with the condition and those who care for them, twenty years of academic research has also indicated that music can even reduce the need for medication.

Christopher Eccleston, whose book, I Love The Bones of You, focused on his late father’s dementia, said: “Music has the power to communicate to us on direct and subliminal levels. It can take us places. It can be transformative. It has a unique power of its own and within that, the power to comfort those who may be confused or in the grip of this destructive disease.  I fully support and endorse the work being done through #powerof30.”

Campaign Director at Music for Dementia, Grace Meadows said: “Our #powerof30 campaign aims to help people make connections again. Musical services have been severely impacted in the last 18 months, meaning many people living with dementia and their carers have lost those important connections and special moments that music, uniquely, provides – but we can all use music to help create those connections and make a difference to people’s lives.  

“Whether you know someone with dementia or not, we hope people embrace our #powerof30 campaign. No matter what age you are, where you live or what your health is, everyone can benefit from a shared experience of listening to music.”

Professor Helen Odell-Miller OBE, Director of the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research at Anglia Ruskin University added: “Just 30 minutes’ shared music a week during daily life and normal routines, at home or outside in the nearby environment, will make a difference to quality of life. Research shows that shared music- making and listening to music can help reduce anxiety and depression.”

In recent research of 2010 UK adults conducted by Opinium for Music for Dementia, 71% believed those who are ill or unwell should be able to engage with music as part of their treatment – whether they have dementia or not.

To sign up to support the power of music in dementia care visit