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Relief for clients with dementia

Finding calm through music therapy

Ongoing global research continues to indicate music - from listening to personalised tunes to singing - can be of great benefit to people living with dementia.

The Music For David, music therapy program provides our clients with appropriate and familiar music to listen to, helping to soothe yet gently stimulate those who are agitated or withdrawn due to the effects of dementia and ease symptoms of restlessness, anxiety or agitation.

Participants in Music For David and their families work with our Music Therapists to carefully design a digital playlist of songs, based on their individual taste and the era of music most familiar to them. They are also provided with an MP3 device and headset.

We find people respond best to music they would have heard in their 20s and 30s. So we research music from up to 70 years ago and download it for them.

The Music For David program also provides a meaningful, relevant and enjoyable activity for the person with dementia, while supporting their families and carers by affording them short-term respite from caring for their loved ones.

It reduces shadowing, in which people with dementia follow their carers closely, and it gives the carers a break from having to be constantly vigilant.

Why Music For David?

The Uniting AgeWell Music For David program was established and named in memory of Reverend David Hodges AM, a founding member of the Uniting Church in 1977 and minister at Toorak Uniting Church until his retirement in 1983.

Reverend David Hodges displayed symptoms of dementia for six years prior to his death in 2012. During his final year, he and his partner and carer, musician, David Ross-Smith, were supported by Uniting AgeWell. Throughout this time music played an integral role in David's care.

(Pictured: David Hodges and David Ross-Smith)

Music for David

Making Love Real: new edition

The second edition of Making Love Real by The Reverend David McIndoe Hodges AM (1924 – 2012) released in October 2021 in print and as an e-book. Originally published in 2010, this new edition contains previously unreleased material about David and his legacy.

Making Love Real bravely explores the "laws" of Christian Churches, the difficulties of a hierarchical institution and the original intentions of Jesus presented in the Gospels. David goes on to consider how each of us can find fulfilment and happiness by making love real in our world.

All proceeds made through the purchase of Making Love Real will be donated to the Music For David Program.

Buy now
Making Love Real print cover web

Support Music For David

The Music For David program continues to thrive through the support of generous donations. If you would like to donate to the Music For David program, please call or email us through the contact details listed below.

Phone: 1300 783 435

Email: donations@unitingagewell.org

Sharing the care hero