Adults & Older People
Learn about our Dementia films and the impact of music therapy.
Find Out About How Music Therapy Has Helped Dementia
Who We Work With:
Our charity's mission is to provide a comprehensive and highly professional music therapy service to help pre-school children with language delay and behavioural problems to older age people with dementia and others affected by autism, complex learning issues or anxiety - to cope better with life. Emotionally and socially it can bring joy to both their lives and the families that support them. Music therapy in dementia care can reduce isolation and help someone connect with those around them. It promotes activity, helps people express feelings and ideas and encourages social interaction.
Some Links to Endorse Our Work
The power of music: Vicky McClure's dementia choir - BBC News https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-
Music is key in helping those living with dementia https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/lifestyle/3236983/dementia-music-therapy-aberdeenshire/
Elliot is a young man, 25, diagnosed with severe autism, learning difficulties and complex needs. He is also known to have issues with transitions, communication and anxiety. After moving into a residential care facility in March 2018, Elliot took time to become familiar with his new surroundings and support network, often choosing to isolate himself away in his bedroom.
Having noticed a strong connection to music, Elliot’s mother, Tracey, felt that music therapy could be a suitable outlet for her son. In the referral form, Tracey noted that all six of the listed reasons for referral; communication, emotional, social, attention + awareness, self-expression, creativity; were all important reasons for Elliot to receive music therapy alongside his reluctance to spend time with his family.
I met Elliot at the home in mid-February 2019. He was reluctant to see me and was reportedly anxious prior to my visit. I was introduced to him whilst he sat in his bedroom however, Elliot quickly ushered me out by saying “ok, goodbye then”. This was a pattern that continued for my first eleven visits to the home. It was noted that Elliot had attended guitar lessons before and that he often dismissed the idea of returning to past ventures. This led me to believe that Elliot misunderstood my reason for visiting him. If only I could connect with Elliot, without the preconceived notion being ‘the pressure of playing music’, or our session being ‘a lesson’.
Over time, Elliot then began sitting downstairs in the lounge as I arrived. The support staff and I collaborated in forming an approach for me to enter the lounge without causing anxiety for Elliot. We felt that presenting Elliot with multiple instruments may have been overwhelming. The idea of a familiar staff member entering the lounge carrying one instrument (the glockenspiel), laying it on the table and then leaving, transpired to be an effective means of introducing Elliot to music therapy.
After several moments of Elliot being alone with the glockenspiel, I then entered the space. Previously, Elliot had dismissed my presence entirely, asking me to leave. However, this time, Elliot allowed me to sit with him and we began a dialogue. The topic soon turned to the red glockenspiel resting in front of us. Elliot referred to it as “the ultimate vegetable destroying machine” and requested for me to play it. This led to a long improvisation, centred around the destruction of vegetables. Elliot was expressive with his voice, exploring pitch ranges and tempos. Throughout this exchange, I felt connected to Elliot as we laughed and shared a long-awaited playful exchange.
This session proved to be a turning point in our relationship. Over time, I gradually included all my available instruments, one by one. More recently, Elliot has welcomed the inclusion of the guitar and has even spent time playing it himself. Elliot now eagerly awaits my visit, greets me with excitement and expresses himself musically. Since this turning point, Elliot has been more welcoming of his family when they visit, often going out for trips and engaging in conversation.
Read Elliot's Story...
A young autistic adult discovers the buzz of making music and rejoins his family.
A short film of our work in dementia care and an endorsement by a care home manager.
We have seen first hand how music therapy can transcend communication barriers..
Medical Team / Independence Homes Ltd - Specialist Provision for Adults with Epilepsy
Find Out How to Self Refer Yourself for Music Therapy
Music therapy can help those who are struggling with emotional issues. Anyone over the age of 16 can refer themselves. If you are interested in trying music therapy, please make contact through the website, and specify that you are interested on your own behalf. Key Changes will ring you to discuss your interest, and will send you a form for completing, for giving your consent to receive music therapy, and for some referral information, including the name and contact details of another professional who supports you, who the therapist can refer to if required.
A few initial sessions will be recommended, usually 4, from which the therapist will make recommendations, going forward. There will be a cost for therapy provision, which Key Changes will discuss with you before you agree to the first contact with the therapist.