We have created an interactive map to show dementia inclusive singing groups around Scotland, which can be found on the Dementia Inclusive Singing Network website.
We have seen the network grow from a handful of members at its launch four years ago to more than 70 today, including more than 20 singing groups. The Network now includes groups from Shetland to the Borders, and is always ready to welcome more.
Maisie Leddy, our Network co-ordinator said:
“We’re really pleased to be launching our interactive Network Map, which displays the excellent singing activity offered across the country for people affected by dementia. Our Network is free and easy to join, and all members are invited to add their singing group to our Network Map, if they run one.
“When adding their details to our Map, we ask every group to complete a simple self-assessment form which helps us to ensure that every group on the map is working in a way that is inclusive for people living with dementia. We want the map to be a growing resource and a valuable tool for people living with dementia and their families and carers.”
We aim to ensure that older people in Scotland have the opportunity to take part in creative activities, regardless of their circumstances. The Network is a vital part of our programme, supporting choirs and singing groups nationally, and helping people living with dementia to find creative opportunities in their communities.
In recent years documentary programmes, such as My Dementia Choir fronted by actor Vicki McClure, have demonstrated the enormous potential for connection, enjoyment and wellbeing that singing in a choir or group can bring to those living with dementia.
Dementia UK says that listening to or participating in music – for example, by singing, dancing or playing instruments – can help people living with dementia develop and maintain relationships with others and improve their wellbeing.
- help people to express their feelings and ideas, verbally and non-verbally
- act as a prompt for reminiscing
- help people to ‘tell their story’ and share their personal history
- encourage physical exercise, dance or movement
- encourage social interaction, reduce isolation, and help to engage people in group activities
Our Dementia Inclusive Singing Network includes community choirs and singing groups that are open to all but are designed to be dementia inclusive, as well as those that have been specifically created for people living with dementia and their carers. They all have strong local community roots.
The Dementia Inclusive Singing Network website has many free guides, along with song music and lyrics which can be downloaded for singing groups to use. Regular training and networking activities are offered for song leaders and conductors too. We hope the addition of the map will mean that many more groups will consider joining the network so people across Scotland can easily find the group nearest to them.