ABOUT LOST CHORD UK
Lost Chord UK is an innovative charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and well-being of those living with dementia and other complex health needs. By interactive, therapeutic music sessions in both the community and care home setting, we increase the general awareness, self-esteem and overall well-being of everyone who takes part and is present at the sessions.
One of LCUK’s unique strengths is that it visits many residential homes monthly enabling us to build a real relationship with not only the residents and their families but also the carers. We build up a real musical picture of the home.
Pre pandemic Lost Chord was providing more than 1300 interactive music sessions a year in 130 homes. In March 2020 the music fell silent with musicians recording virtual sessions for care homes. As the world emerged from an unprecedented time in world history we recognised that in order to survive we had to completely re-vision and diversify the way in which we operate.
LCUK – bringing music medicine to every step of the dementia journey…
As a charity we felt it was vital that we responded to the effects of over two years of isolation. The older generation were especially hard hit. We decided to start community sessions to combat loneliness and support people in their dementia journey from their initial diagnosis right through to the final stages. Little did we realise how popular our community sessions would become… With the cost of living crisis hitting the UK in Autumn 2022, once again we felt called to action and the decision was made to partner with local ‘warm spaces’ and provide Soup and Song sessions to serve the community even better. We received a grant from Voluntary Action Rotherham that has enabled us to facilitate sessions across Rotherham that have become what is repeatedly called a “lifeline” for service users.
Time and time again carer’s (both professional and unpaid) say that they are better carers because of LCUK sessions…
The professional musicians who provide the sessions are uplifted and say it is the most rewarding music making that they do and most importantly, the effect on the person living with dementia is often astonishing. People who have been non-verbal for weeks often start singing along to a song, those with very limited mobility find they are able to dance with the support of a carer, LCUK Volunteer or musician. We often hear from care homes that the effects of our sessions last for days. One home said that they try to keep the energy going for as long as possible by continuing the singalongs and party atmosphere long after the musicians have gone home.
In December 2021, when the country went into Plan B, we introduced the ipad/tablet/laptop bedside 1-2-1. This has proved to be yet another way that we can serve people living with dementia to improve their well-being. Using digital technology we go to the bedside of people who live in bed who would be unable to attend our sessions in the day room. This is really beneficial if there is a lockdown. We have had the most profound responses at these sessions with carers in floods of tears as they see the person they have cared for over many years “come back to life” with music. We have now expanded this very special way of working by offering homes the option to have in person bedside 1-2-1’s.