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Brenda and Phil sat at the piano

Brenda Beard, a resident at Apthorp Care Centre in New Southgate, run by The Fremantle Trust, embraced her love of music during an exclusive singing experience arranged for her during World Alzheimer’s Month.

Aged 79, Brenda submitted an application to have singing lessons to the Trust’s Wishes and Dreams initiative, which helps make individual aspirations become a reality. As a result she enjoyed special one-to-one singing tuition from music therapist, Phil Evans, followed by a performance with fellow residents by the piano.

Brenda lives with dementia and music is a therapeutic means of reconnecting with songs with personal resonance such as ‘You are my Sunshine’ and ‘Molly Malone’. She often assists her friends if the words don’t come as easily to them.

Dementia currently affects around 850,000 people in the UK - mainly those over the age of 65. September is World Alzheimer’s Month and is an annual platform to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia.

Apthorp Care Centre supports the need to educate people and works closely with partners in the local community, including children and young people, to encourage multi-generational activities, which can be hugely mutually beneficial.

As part of this, the team regularly welcome young people from The National Citizen Service (NCS), a voluntary personal and social development programme, to visit residents and develop activities that can be enjoyed together. As part of their dementia awareness work, they sampled the new Tovertafel at the care home, which uses interactive light projections to stimulate the senses.

Resident Betty Bowel, who particularly enjoys a game which features projections of gardens and wildlife, loved spending valuable time with the young volunteers.

Commenting on the World Alzheimer’s Month activities at Apthorp Care Centre, leisure and lifestyle manager for the Trust, Fiona Swynnerton, said:

With experience in specialist dementia care, our understanding of the latest insights and technology is coupled with kindness and person-centred care to ensure residents live as independently as possible and have access to interesting, fun and stimulating activities.

By really getting to know people’s characters, we are able to collectively create memorable moments like Brenda’s singing experience to bring magic to people’s lives, helping them to reconnect with what truly brings them joy.