Music in dementia care sounds promising, but there is a catch | Letters

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Pianist Susan Tomes volunteered to play for patients but found the checks off-putting. Steve Phaure takes issue with social prescribing

Your article on music in dementia care (Making music isn’t a nicety, it’s a necessity, 9 January) illustrates the benefit of using live music to unlock happy memories and powers of communication in dementia sufferers. It also explains that music-making initiatives are often impossible to implement because of the cost.

Some years ago, when I first had experience of family members in care, I realised that live music was a nice thing for dementia patients. As I am a professional pianist, I volunteered to go and play concerts of light and “vintage” piano music in care homes and hospitals. I did a supervised trial event in a long-stay unit, which seemed to show that residents would enjoy more of it.

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