In photo: Huw on dementia care home visit (2019)
Huw Merriman, MP for the Bexhill and Battle constituency, has taken up the challenge to become a Music for Dementia Champion to make sure everyone living with dementia has the right to access and enjoy music.
The national charity, Music for Dementia, led by their Ambassador broadcaster Lauren Laverne, is campaigning to make music available for everyone living with dementia and during the pandemic launched a free radio station specifically for people with dementia.
As a Music for Dementia Champion, Huw is calling on the Director of Adult Social Services in East Sussex to make sure people with dementia have access to music as an integral part of their care plans.
Huw said: “I decided to become a Music for Dementia Champion because I know from my visits to local care homes which specialise in caring for residents with dementia, just how important music is. Music brings back good memories, creates a sense of connection with those around you and gives people a feeling of happiness and well-being. People with dementia and their carers were particularly hard hit as a result of Covid-19 and were more likely to feel lonely, depressed and/or isolated, yet music has the power to reconnect people with dementia with their loved ones. I’d urge everyone to add their voice to this campaign and find out more about the benefits of music.”
Research shows that music helps to significantly minimise some of the symptoms of dementia, such as agitation, and can help to tackle anxiety and depression.
Grace Meadows, Director, Music for Dementia, said: “We are delighted that Huw Merriman MP is giving his time to support our campaign. There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and 34.5m people who know someone with a diagnosis. It is caused by diseases of the brain and can happen to anyone.
“For someone living with dementia, music can be the lifeline, the connector that stops them from being locked away in a lonely and isolated world. Music, in its many forms, has the power to transform lives. There is some excellent work happening across the country; in people’s homes, the community, care settings, hospitals and hospices.”
For more information and to join the campaign, visit www.musicfordementia.org.uk