The therapist helping Warrington dementia patients – through music

A MUSICIAN therapist is helping dementia patients at Belong Warrington find their melodies.

Pam Thomson, a trained musician therapist from Nordoff Robbins charity has teamed up with the Latchford home to provide support and improve the wellbeing of the residents who face a daily battle with Dementia.

Pam works in small groups and one-to-one sessions, using music to translate personal experiences and memories of the individuals.

Using a variety of instruments including tambourines, drums and their voices, Pam aims to match the tone and energy of the individual to build a connection and trust.

She said: “Making music together offers companionship without any pressure of conversation or the need to pick-up on social cues. It can help to access memories, foster feelings of connection and belonging.

“It’s especially worthwhile working with residents whose health means they are confined to their beds. It’s been rewarding to be able to take the music to people wherever they are in the village, and they have responded very well.”

Nordoff Robins, established in 1974, is delivered under Goldsmith’s University, who specialise in ‘world leading research’ and offer a range of different music therapies to all age groups who suffer with life-limiting illnesses.

Support worker at Belong Warrington, June Newton, described the ‘remarkable’ effect the sessions have had on the residents, saying: “It’s wonderful having Pam with us; her presence has been well-received, particularly by our customers further along their dementia journeys who are less able to access social connection.

“We’ve seen a number of remarkable outcomes, such as a gentleman who was able to recall his previous session – for him, it’s quite a special achievement.”

Belong Limited, a charitable organisation that operates villages, housing and support for elderly people, specialises in supporting patients with dementia and has previously explored opportunities involving the arts including choirs and theatre workshops to help improve the wellbeing of their patients.

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