With chronic illness on the increase and a rapid growth of the ageing population1 there is a need to enhance the quality of life not just simply sustaining it. Music therapy is an effective intervention in neurological rehabilitation2 slowing down the degenerative disease. One in three people aged over 65 will die with dementia3 increasing the demand to maintain standards and continue providing services to this user group.

This work explores the emotional experiences of people living with dementia and addresses the issues of isolation and depression in British residential care homes by connecting people through music and encouraging other methods of communication. My aim has been to improve the efficiency of how the therapy is delivered executed through a set of working prototypes to assist and encourage participation during music sessions. They are an exploration into removing the stigma and intimidation that exist in conventional instruments, this has focused on turning familiar objects into musical appliances.

1). The Economist – Healthcare Strategies for an Ageing Society
2). David Aldridge – Music Therapy & Neurological Rehabilitation
3). Alzheimer’s Society – http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/index.php

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