Updated NICE dementia care recommendations include music therapy


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has updated its dementia care recommendations to include music therapy.

The updated guidance encourages practitioners to offer activities such as music therapy, exercise, aromatherapy, art, gardening, baking, reminiscence therapy, mindfulness and animal assisted therapy “to help promote their wellbeing”.

Grace Meadows, Programme Director at Music for Dementia 2020 and a senior music therapist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, said: “This announcement is incredibly welcomed by Music for Dementia 2020 and all those that we are working with. It presents us with a wonderful opportunity to further support people living with dementia who could benefit from music therapy, but don’t yet have access to it as part of their dementia care.

“We have seen first-hand the benefits personalised music can have for people living with dementia – even those in the most advanced stages – and urge Clinical Commissioning Groups to act to ensure that music therapy is offered as part of the care they provide for people living with dementia.”

Professor Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health and Social Care at NICE, said: “People with dementia can find it harder to take part in activities, to engage socially, to maintain their independence, to communicate effectively, to feel in control and to care for themselves. Providing enjoyable and health-enhancing activities like music or reminiscence therapy can help with this.

“Understanding the activities that a person prefers, and thinks are suitable and helpful, and adapting them to their strengths and needs, will make a person more likely to engage with the activities offered and therefore more likely to benefit from them.”

Visit www.musicfordementia2020.com for more information, to sign up to the Music for Dementia 2020 newsletter and to become part of the Taskforce.

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