In what is traditionally an important month for dementia and Alzheimer's, Our Dementia Choir again showcased the important role that music plays in the lives of those living with dementia, family, and friends live on national television.
Perhaps very apt, a beautiful rendition of ‘Fix You’. A proud moment, a significant moment, a moment that can inspire future generations to further reduce the stigma that still exists to this day of dementia. To me, it’s maddening that we are approaching 2024, yet we still have some form of social taboo associated with this destructive disease.
There are over 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK right now, and it has been rising steeply since the early 2000’s, yet we still live in a world that doesn’t fully understand the devastating impact this disease has on people's lives. 900,000 people, the UK has a population of roughly 67 million. This alone tells us that dementia, as many people continue to believe, doesn’t just affect the elderly. Dementia isn’t ‘just one of those things’ you get when you’re older; it’s happening here and now to younger and younger people, affecting millions of people in the UK and 100’s of millions worldwide. I am sure many of you reading this now have been affected by dementia in some way or another. Of course, I’d be foolish to think that a cure is around the corner, but the work of Our Dementia Choir is a huge step in the right direction in improving the lives of those living with dementia. With the increased awareness of dementia, together we can put it on the agenda, show that more can be done, and in time we can slow this degenerative condition right down.
Going back to the performance Our Dementia Choir gave at the National Television Awards in early September, broadcast to millions of viewers across the country, it gave hope. Hope for everyone and anyone, whether you’re living with dementia, a carer for someone with dementia, family, or friend, the power of music and the effect it has on mental well-being are undeniable. To watch these incredible people—people I consider family—perform and sing in front of celebrities and millions of people around the world fills me with unbelievable joy. To top it off, they were pitch perfect. A defining moment for dementia, spreading awareness and the healing power of music while sharing Our Dementia Choir's motto, ‘Where memory fails, music breathes life’.
Music therapy is nothing new; it has been around in some form for thousands of years, but it has evolved immeasurably in the current century. Music is universal, as is dementia, and has the incredible ability to change a person’s mood instantaneously. I’m sure there have been times you’ve been down in the dumps, put on your favourite album, had an increased mood lift, and felt more positive. The choir showcases the effects of music therapy week in and week out, singing their hearts out and creating special memories for everyone involved with the choir. The way the choir picks up new songs and remembers old songs is quite remarkable; no study is required; the power of music speaks volumes. I am by no means an expert, nor do I claim to be. You truly must witness the choir first-hand to understand the 'magic', the magic in the room at rehearsals, events, and festivals. There is a heart-warming feeling of togetherness. I, for one, am extremely excited to see the choir grow and reach people all around the world. The choir's official name is Our Dementia Choir, at the National Television Awards they became your dementia choir.
Every week, they prove you can live well with dementia, you can still showcase your talent, still enjoy life, and importantly, change lives. They have certainly changed mine.
You can help the choir grow, evolve, and reach people all around the world. Whether it’s donating or fundraising, every penny goes towards positively impacting the lives of those living with dementia through the power of music. Visit Fundraising | Our Dementia Choir for support with fundraising in aid of the choir, alternatively if you would like to donate you can visit Our Dementia Choir - JustGiving Thank you for support, together we can achieve something remarkable.