Portsdown View, a luxury care home in Bedhampton, recently launched ‘The Portsdown Memory Choir’. Aimed at improving the lives of people living with dementia, participants will gather every month to sing, learn new songs, develop musical skills, and even perform at events across the county. 

The group has been organised in conjunction with The Memory Choir (TMC) Hampshire; a local organisation designed to connect all people living with dementia including those experiencing the condition, families and friends, and carers and supporters. Research shows group singing can enhance emotional wellbeing, improve social connectedness, and even boost verbal flexibilityfor some individuals.

Pippa Mafunga, General Manager at Portsdown View, comments:

“Portsdown’s new choir group is far more than just a place for people to learn to sing! By bringing residents together with a common purpose in mind, we want to create a genuine sense of community where everyone can connect through music. This is especially important for those residents living with dementia, who may struggle to communicate and connect with others because of their condition”.

Dementia is a growing problem which impacts over 700,000 people across the UK. With this number expected to reach 1 million by 2030, many care professionals are under pressure to find new therapeutic interventions to help deal with the condition.

Staff at Portsdown View and The Memory Choir (TMC) believe music-based therapies could play a valuable role in improving dementia care across the country. By stimulating parts of the brain associated with autobiographical memory, it can help reinforce a sense of identity and help people connect with those around them.

The results of the Memory Choir project will provide valuable insights into the benefits of musical therapy for dementia. Pippa Mafunga again:

“Music has this amazing ability to reach parts of the brain that other kinds of activity cannot. Time and again, we see how songs from childhood can help residents rediscover moments from the past, and hence better connect with the present. Hopefully, through the Memory Choir, we can create this feeling of connection and fulfilment on a regular basis for residents who need it most”.

Choir sessions will take place at Portsdown View every second Thursday of the month, from 2.30–3.30pm. Sessions are open to the community to attend particularly for people’s lives who are impacted by dementia.

Places can be booked by contacting Portsdown View on 02392 001706.