Coventry based Celesio UK, parent company of LloydsPharmacy welcomed local Singing for the Brain group for a festive sing-along at its Support Centre located in Walsgrave, last Friday 4th December.
The Singing for the Brain group, organised by Alzheimer’s Society, offers support to those affected by dementia. Many with dementia find singing a natural way of expression and while experience symptoms that include memory loss or difficulty thinking, find music especially easier to recall.
Led by group coordinator Dave Willetts, Celesio UK colleagues were invited to participate in Christmas carolling and take part in the group’s typical activities, including memorable word games, tongue twisters, and coordination songs.
Singing as a therapy for those with dementia has recently been backed by leading academic studies, which suggest singing can boost a person’s confidence, giving them an identity beyond their diagnosis and helping to strengthen the relationship between patient and their carer. Research has also shown that musical aptitude and appreciation are often the last remaining abilities in patients with dementia, with songs from formative adult years proven particularly helpful for patients to sing.
Regular attendees and ambassadors of the group, Roger and Mary Caradine commented: “People travel from all over the city to sing with us, when they arrive they’ve often had awful journeys or the weather has been bad, but within minutes of arriving with a cup of tea and biscuit everybody is nattering to everybody. Nobody is frightened about talking about anything. You really feel that you’ve got the support you need or that you are supporting somebody else, and that’s what it’s all about.
“When we attended our first session we were joined by only 20 people. Now we have 60 attending regularly and sometimes more than that. We have had a great response from the people of Coventry and it’s absolutely brilliant that Celesio UK is on board and supporting us this year. Dementia can make you feel isolated but events like today give you the chance to meet like-minded people. It’s wonderful.”
The Singing for the Brain group meets on the first two Mondays of each month at 10:30am, at the Queens Road Baptist Church, Grosvenor Road, Coventry CV1 3EG.
Celesio UK is a leading provider of integrated healthcare services for millions of people across the UK. Since their national partnership with Alzheimer’s Society in 2014, they have continued to strengthen their support of a great cause which affects many people.
Cormac Tobin, Managing Director at Celesio UK, said: “We’re united in making a difference to people living with dementia and their carers. As a national partner of Alzheimer’s Society we have learnt so much about the work they are doing, and how as a business by increasing our own knowledge of dementia we can help patients and customers every day. We were delighted to host our local Singing for the Brain group and take part in their festive activities.”
During the event Celesio UK colleagues were able to purchase Christmas cards and raffle tickets with all funds going towards the Alzheimer’s Society. The company has pledged to continue to raise awareness of dementia in a range of creative ways, and will be supporting the Alzheimer’s Society’s national Elf Day on 16th December. Through its outreach to local communities, the company has worked with the Charity to grow the Dementia Friends community, a national campaign to build awareness of Dementia and its effects.
Both Celesio and Alzheimer’s Society encourage all to get involved and support the movement by becoming a Dementia Friend. For more information please visit alzheimers.org.uk