The power of music to support people with dementia in Falkirk.

A new musical resource for people living with dementia and their carers is to be distributed throughout Falkirk’s communities.

Produced by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, ReConnect is an interactive music-making project which aims to bring people together through music to improve wellbeing and quality of life, whatever a person’s age or stage. People are invited and supported to sing, play instruments, improvise, and listen.

Running since 2013 in partnership with NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh, ReConnect has been developed for specialist use in healthcare settings, helping people with dementia through the creation of improvised pieces that draw upon people’s moods or movements.

While the pandemic has reduced the opportunity for in-person sessions, 500 DVD copies of the ReConnect series are being made available to Falkirk’s care homes, community groups, individuals and their carers.

The DVDs are being provided as part of Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership’s ongoing COVID action plan, aimed at supporting groups and communities affected by the impact of the pandemic.

Chief Officer for the Partnership, Patricia Cassidy said: “It is a pleasure to share this valuable resource with Falkirk’s communities. The project helps creates moments of shared joy and connection, helping people to live life to the fullest while enjoying the music.

“I know many of us will have felt the affects of the pandemic on our mental wellbeing, so I hope groups and individuals will benefit from reconnecting with friends, family and loved ones in this way.”

Dr Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, Creative Learning Director, Scottish Chamber Orchestra added: ”It is fantastic to bring ReConnect to a wider audience, as we know that music-making can help people living with dementia feel free, happy, and more connected with those around them.

“You don’t have to be a musician or a singer to join in with our varied playlist – watch and listen, sing, play, or dance along in any way you choose.”

All care homes in the Falkirk area will receive copies of the ReConnect DVDs to use in their common recreation rooms.

With support from Falkirk’s Royal Voluntary Service and Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Carers Centre, DVDs will be offered to individuals living with dementia throughout the community.

People and their carers can also pick up a free DVD by asking their local librarian at any of the Falkirk Community Trust libraries, including the home library service.