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Hallmark tunes up for 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 Arlington Manor facility in Cambridge, while Jo Thomas will support its Banstead Manor care home in Surrey.

Both will 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.

The musicians have been selected, trained and managed by Hallmark’s partner organisation Musica.

“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,” said Hallmark head of relationship- centred care April Dobson.

“I am delighted to welcome Andrew and Jo as our ‘Hallmark Musicians in Residence’, and excited about this new initiative,” she added.

Musica founder Rosanna Mead (pictured) said: “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.”

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