Music helps ease dementia’s patients time at Queen Alexandra Hospital

Joyce Banks joins with multi-instrumentalist Neil Valentine from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Picture: Innes Marlow (151324-3)
Joyce Banks joins with multi-instrumentalist Neil Valentine from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Picture: Innes Marlow (151324-3)
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  • Music helps to improve patients feeling alone
  • Member of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra comes each week
  • New dates added for dementia friends session
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WITH a range of instruments and beats of music, this is a different kind of one-man band.

Dementia patients at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham have been getting weekly visits from a member of an orchestra.

Joyce Banks joining in with multi-instrumentalist Neil Valentine from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Joyce Banks joining in with multi-instrumentalist Neil Valentine from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

During the session the musician plays different instruments, varying the speed and tempo, and encourages patients to take part as well.

Alison Hosker, senior sister on the G4 ward at QA, said: ‘The orchestra comes in every week and helps patients deal with social isolation.

‘It helps ease their stay in hospital, it takes them away from the bed and gives them some entertainment as well – with the chance to take part.

‘All the feedback has been very good so far and as the word gets around it has become more popular.’

It helps ease their stay in hospital, it takes them away from the bed and gives them some entertainment as well – with the chance to take part.

Alison Hosker, senior sister on the G4 ward at QA

It’s called the Music For A While project and runs until the end of December.

The scheme is being run by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Arts and Health South West.

Alexandra Coulter, director of Arts and Health South West, said: ‘Music can be incredibly effective for people with dementia in helping them to re-connect with families and bringing back memories through favourite songs.

‘Music can calm agitation and help with sleep and nutrition, improving patients’ experience of hospital and supporting busy staff.

‘We think live music should be provided regularly.’

Details for dementia friends sessions taking place in Portsmouth are now available.

Nicky Bellenger, of Portsmouth, is a dementia friends champion, and is able to run the free one-hour sessions that give people more information about the disease.

The sessions she is running take place on the following dates, times and locations:

n Tuesday, September 8, Portsmouth Guildhall, from 6pm to 7pm

n Wednesday, September 16, Portsmouth Central Library, 2.30pm to 3.30pm

n Wednesday, September 16, Portsmouth Guildhall, 6pm to 7pm

E-mail nickybellenger@gmail.com or call 07702 227504.