Singing in Welsh helps reduce anxiety for people living with Dementia in South West Wales

15th October 2019

Hundreds of vulnerable people living across South West Wales have been coming together to enjoy the shared experience of live music at their local day centres.

Electricity distributor Western Power Distribution (WPD) has provided funding for 15 free live music sessions with professional musicians.

The initiative follows a partnership between the company and UK charity Music in Hospitals & Care, which provides nearly 5,000 live music performances each year. These bespoke, interactive concerts are designed to reach and connect people whilst encouraging communication, meaningful interactions and evoking joyful emotions and memories.

One visitor at the Day Centre in Tenby Cottage Hospital experienced a particularly moving response to the music. Senior Carer, Sing Taylor, told us her story:

“Mair lives with her husband in Pembrokeshire and is originally from North Wales. Her first language is Welsh and she is living with Dementia, which at times causes her to experience great depths of anxiety and confusion, which can be very upsetting & distressing for her.

Tenby Day Centre was fortunate to have a wonderful young woman, Joy Cornock, who came to sing and play the harp. It was a joy to see Mair taking part and she joined in singing in Welsh to every song and listened intently to it all.

This brought a tear to my eye, as usually Mair can struggle to join in and even make conversation. This live music session was wonderful and it certainly improved and helped reduce Mair’s anxieties and agitation.

It lifted her spirits and enabled Mair in that moment to connect with the music, sing in Welsh and fully participate. Mair looked so happy.”

At each of the South West Wales concerts WPD has been promoting its Priority Services Register (PSR), which is a free service enabling vulnerable people to get priority support in the event of a power cut.

WPD’s Karen Welch explained: “Power cuts happen sometimes for reasons beyond our control, and we know how worrying it can be, especially if you rely on electricity for medical equipment or if you are elderly, vulnerable or disabled.

“Our PSR is designed to give people with specific needs a little extra help when they need it, and our partnership with Music in Hospitals & Care is enabling us to reach some of our more vulnerable customers in rural areas of West Wales.”

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