Photo of John wearing a grey shirt and a Union Jack bow tie. He's seated and holding his hand to his ear to be able to be able to hear better.

John’s story: “The Brain Charity’s Music Makes Us! sessions gave my 96-year-old dad a complete new lease of life”

Care home resident and music lover John, 96, is immobile due to osteoarthritis and was feeling lonely after three years of being confined to his room during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All his family live far away from his care home on the Wirral, and so can’t visit as often as they’d like.

His daughter Caroline said taking part in The Brain Charity’s Music Makes Us! Move physiotherapy through dance sessions since March had given the retired mechanical engineer a complete new lease of life.

Dad-of-three, grandfather and great-grandfather John is now looking forward to our Music Makes Us! Sing speech and language therapy through song workshops which will be starting at his care home, Hoylake Cottage, soon.

John in his care home accompanied by a male carer. They look like they're having a good chat.
John enjoys a chat in in Hoylake Cottage care home

Caroline said: “Taking part in Music Makes Us! has made a world of difference – it gave him a new lease of life after being confined to his room for the past three years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has given him something to talk about and look forward to with enthusiasm.

“The experience has been a total joy and something I can’t recommend enough – it really has been life affirming for Dad.”

Music Makes Us! is an innovative Brain Charity programme which uses music to improve the lives of people living with dementia, and other care home residents.

Sessions harness the transformative power of music to promote emotional well-being, reduce stress, enhance cognitive abilities, and foster social connections.

John sitting down to take part in our Music Makes Us sessions
John took part in our Music Makes Us! sessions

Caroline said the Music Makes Us! facilitators Maxine and Jen were skilled in using themselves and the music to engage the group and draw people in.

She added: “Dad couldn’t stop talking about Maxine and Jen, the amazing facilitators.

“His enthusiasm for the sessions was infectious.

“When we attended the sessions ourselves, we could see Maxine and Jen created a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere – they truly have a gift.”

Caroline said the sessions helped her dad go from feeling lonely and isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic to rediscovering his zest for life by providing him with something exciting to look forward to, despite his limited physical mobility.

After dance sessions, she noticed he was also more willing to engage in movements and exercises, contributing to his physical wellbeing.

She added: “The sessions gave him a sense of purpose and a lot to talk about.

“Music Makes Us! has brought dad joy, connection and a renewed sense of life. My family and I are eternally grateful for this wonderful initiative from The Brain Charity.”

Do you have a loved one who might benefit from The Brain Charity’s Music Makes Us! programme?
It’s open to people from anywhere in the UK. Sign up online today.

Category: Dementia support

Published: 21 June 2023

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