Care HomesNews

Hallmark Care Homes Launches Musician on Prescription Programme

Hallmark Care Homes has launched an initiative where a visit from a musician can be prescribed to support people living with dementia.

Andrew Wickham will be supporting Hallmark’s facility in Cambridge, Arlington Manor whilst Jo Thomas will be supporting their facility in Banstead called Banstead Manor.

Both talented musicians have been selected, trained and managed by Hallmark’s partner organisation Musica. They’ll each deliver one hour per week of interactive music sessions for people living with dementia who have been referred to them where it is felt that a 1:1 or group engagement with the musician will be of benefit.

Through the project they will evaluate how the music sessions may help people living with dementia by reducing social isolation, depression and chronic pain, and supporting communication through building connections and relationships.

Head of Relationship Centred Care at Hallmark Care Homes, April Dobson said: “I am delighted to welcome Andrew and Jo as our ‘Hallmark Musicians in Residence’, and excited about this new initiative.  Both musicians bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge which will help enhance quality of life for people living with dementia in our homes.  Music is a vital element of the way we care for people at Hallmark and our strong partnership with Musica means we can take it to another level through this one-to-one referral service.”

Founder of Musica, Rosanna Mead said: “The Musician in Residence programme is a really exciting initiative. The research suggests that in order to have maximum benefit music needs to be used on a regular basis, and it will be incredible to see the outcomes that come from regular musical interaction in this way. We’re extremely proud to partner with Hallmark on this pilot project.”

Jo Thomas said: “It is a real pleasure to be working as a musician in residence with Hallmark Care Homes. It has been great getting to know the residents. I work as a composer and musician living in London. Sound and music are such elemental forces in our lives, it is wonderful to be able to share beautiful music and write music together.”

Andrew Wickham said: “I am really excited to be Arlington Manor’s Musician in Residence! I have been a musician for almost thirty years, playing in a range of bands and recording projects. For over five years I have worked as a musician in care home settings with older adults, leading many groups in a good old sing-song with some lovely old tunes! I am excited to be involved in this new project at Arlington Manor… let’s see where the music takes us!”