Roma’s story

MHA Music Therapy session - image of Roma

Bringing lightness to life with dementia

Roma is singing and walking down the halls of MHA Torrwood accompanied by her music therapist Michael. They have just finished a music therapy session together and it has transformed the 88-year-old who has dementia.

“Day to day, Roma can be quite strong willed,” says Michael. “When we’re playing together, it feels like there’s a connection there. She gets into the rhythm of the session. After, Roma’s mood is elevated and she’s more animated. She just seems to be lighter.”

Roma rarely remembers Michael or having had music therapy before, but is always happy to accompany him to the music room to start her weekly sessions. Even though every music therapy session is like the first for Roma, it never fails to bring her joy.

In a session, sometimes Roma will sit back and listen. Other times, she sings along to a tune she recognises or picks up an instrument that catches her eye. Whether she starts the session happy, or is more reluctant, as soon as Michael begins to play, her demeanour changes, and a lightness appears on her face.

“When we’re playing together, it feels like there’s a connection there. After, Roma’s mood is elevated. She just seems to be lighter.”

Michael, music therapist talking about 88-year-old MHA Torrwood resident Roma.

Alleviating symptoms 

Mum of two Roma is straight talking, and a character that draws you to her. She can get confused and doesn’t always remember where she is, or where she’s going. This causes her anxiety and hostility. Roma’s dementia means she has difficulty communicating and is reluctant to socialise with others, spending a lot of time in her own company. 

Staff at the Somerset home thought Roma would benefit from music therapy to alleviate her anxiety and confusion, and help her communicate.

After a music therapy session, Roma’s carers notice that she is much happier, less resistant to help and more likely to have a conversation with them. She socialises with other residents and will happily discuss the music she’s played. 

Music therapy is connecting Roma to herself and the world around her. It’s providing a joyful boost to her self-esteem. 

“I’ve seen Roma at music therapy sessions and she just lights up,” says Nicola Dicker, a carer at MHA.

See Roma singing with music therapist Michael in this short video.

Help us create more moments of joy

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MHA Music Therapy session image with instruments

The price of your favourite three tracks could help towards funding a music therapy session to help someone find their Moment of Joy

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MHA Music Therapist session with musical instrument

The price of a monthly music streaming subscription could help fund a music therapy session to help find someone’s Moment of Joy

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MHA Music Therapist session with musical instrument - Dr Ming

Could fund a one-to-one session with someone living with dementia

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