Stable Sense

I see two horses several times a week on my walks as I climb the hill next to their field. While I have never ridden or spent time with horses, as I’ve always lived in rural areas they’ve been familiar sights, part of the background of my life. And I particularly like donkeys. Many people find being around horses or donkeys to be relaxing, uplifting, soothing and restful. You might enjoy grooming a horse, riding along a bridlepath or simply watching horses over a field gate. Rural views can be calming anyway, but seeing animals in the landscape adds life and movement. Horses convey athleticism, grace, power and strength. Even now that we no longer depend on horses for transport or farming, most horses live closely with humans.

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A few months ago I heard about a riding stable setting up Equine Assisted Therapy (or E.A.T.), and I wanted to learn more.

Equine Assisted Therapy builds on this instinctive, natural affinity with horses and donkeys, transforming it into a specific form of therapy. It can be helpful for people experiencing all different issues, physical and mental alike. When I first heard the term, I assumed it would be all about riding. But in many cases, there’s no actual riding involved. It’s more about time spent with horses or donkeys, the opportunity to interact with them, to tune in, connect and share. Maybe the key is in the word “Assisted”. This is therapy – led by a therapist working together with an equine expert – where a horse or donkey plays its part. Like many other forms of therapy, it began in the USA, but came to the UK some years ago and is gradually growing here too.

For many people, time set aside to be with animals is calming and refreshing partly because they are non-judgemental. They don’t communicate verbally, which may help not only people with speech or hearing issues but also people traumatised by arguments, by hostile speech, taunts or insults. What makes horses stand out in particular is their empathy, their sensitivity to human mood and emotion. This is integral to Equine Assisted Therapy – throughout, interaction with the horse or donkey may become a way to think differently or change perspective.

I recently re-read “Down Among The Donkeys”, Elisabeth Svendsen’s memoir of setting up The Donkey Sanctuary and then its Slade Centre for disabled children. The impact these donkeys could have echoed their role in Equine Assisted Therapy, although E.A.T is a distinct and specific therapy all its own.

I’ve heard and seen how people’s experiences of therapy in general differ enormously. Therapy can be a real positive, but it can also seem a real hurdle in itself. For some people, it is too great a hurdle even to try. I for one would be wary of organised, structured therapy. I like to feel free, independent. But obviously sometimes overcoming these kind of doubts could open up new possibilities and make a real difference. I wonder if Equine Assisted Therapy could be particularly attractive to people who might steer clear of other forms of therapy? Even the outdoor, rural, more informal setting could be more relaxing and natural than a more clinical, indoor room might seem.

Would you like to try Equine Assisted Therapy? Maybe you have done so already, or know someone who has. Do share any thoughts in Medley’s Facebook group


Art and craft can enhance life in so many ways and all the time I’m discovering new possibilities. Focusing as I do on how they can improve wellbeing – personal change – I’m also seeking ways they can fuel and fire wider change, as through craftivism, creative activism, using art and craft to challenge. I’ve recently started hearing about dementia craftivism, mainly through the #dementiacraftivists tag on Twitter, and this has opened up another area, and one which interweaves personal and wider change.

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What stands out about craftivism as a whole is its ability to empower. Helplessness, powerlessness in the face of global, national or personal issues can be deeply depressing, sapping energy and hope. People become passive. Apathy grows. This can be true with all kinds of issues such as illness, or inequality, or climate emergency and species loss and pollution. Activism refuses to be silenced, to be passive. It says no, change is possible, and even where change is unlikely, we still need to be heard.

As a unique form of activism, craftivism takes creativity and uses its many possibilities to share, to react, to connect or to fight. It’s empowering because it is expressive and productive.

Dementia craftivism has its own focus. As people who have dementia experiment with creativity, they experience art and craft’s power to absorb, to calm and to express. And they use this creativity to connect with others – to encourage and enable other people who also have dementia to take part themselves, and to share their experiences of dementia with people who do not have dementia. Either way, this can be liberating, restoring confidence, purpose and motivation and creating support.

Creativity can also reinforce identity, which could be fundamental for people living with illnesses like dementia which can impact cognition and personality. Creativity is also very flexible and varied: when there are over a hundred different forms of dementia, this too is empowering in enabling people to create in diverse ways as their own illness allows.

Dementia has become far more common than it once was, and improved awareness and empathy have made great strides. But stigma still hovers in the background. Dementia craftivism can help shine a light on the real experience of living with dementia, dispelling more of the shadows.

The other day I discovered Dementia Creatives, an initiative “supported and hosted by Innovations in Dementia” and funded by the National Lottery Communities Fund. On their website ( you can see gallery pages showcasing dementia creatives’ work – in painting, papercraft, textiles and wearables, woodwork, clay and modelling, poetry, performance…Such diversity. The Painting Gallery itself is so varied, ranging from self-portraits to abstracts to cartoons to painted glass plant holders, all using different art media. There are also audio and video features to share and encourage, and opportunities to get involved.

All craftivism is inspiring or thought-provoking or driven in some way. Dementia craftivism is all that and more. Over time, it could help drive change as it lessens stigma and informs relationships and debate. It can also change specific personal experience as it enables people to contribute. And it all starts with a paintbrush or a needle.

It would be great if you would like to share any thoughts or experiences of craftivism, or dementia craftivism, or dementia and art, in Medley’s Facebook group Thank you.

Unlocking Memory

National or global themed awareness days follow another all through the year, more and more all the time. I like the way they help highlight particular causes, issues or situations, and every now and then I hear of a new one which really strikes me. One of these is National Playlist Day – 22 September – designated by the charity Playlist For Life.

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“Playlist” has become an everyday term, literally part of the soundtrack to our lives. Even just lately following the death of the Queen, radio presenters have talked about using wind-down, reflective or solemn playlists. Where once we might have recorded songs off the radio or off CDs or tapes, now creating your own playlist is a different experience as the sky’s the limit to what you could stream.

Integral to the idea of playlists is choice, individuality, the freedom to hear exactly what you want to hear, no more and no less. I actually enjoy the serendipity of radio, where you don’t know what you will hear and where a song you might long have forgotten (or never enjoyed before) may suddenly resurface. But obviously the opportunity to craft your own playlist is special.

And online there are so many different playlists to enjoy. Never in history has there been so much music to hear on demand, to hear for the first time or again and again. Music’s immense importance for many people is deeply rooted, and now technology has given it wings and set it free.

National Playlist Day is far more than “just” a celebration of the age of the playlist. It’s all about raising awareness of the importance of playlists for people who have dementia, who are the focus of the charity Playlist For Life. With music and memory so closely interlinked, playlists can revive memory for people living with dementia. Music can enable communication, as the power to sing or to recognise music can remain even when people struggle to talk or seem totally withdrawn.

Ahead of the inaugural Day, Playlist For Life has been asking people to share what songs we remember down the years, what might stand out for us or transport us back in time. It might reawaken a specific memory, or conjure up a particular phase of your life, like schooldays, or an era like the 1960s or 1990s. Sharing playlists can give other people ideas of songs they might enjoy.

Music has so many possible impacts, which playlists can unlock. Music can be there at all times, to soothe, calm, excite or cheer. One playlist could do all this, or you migh tlike to have different playlists for different needs, times and moods. Music therapy and group singing are very helpful for people with dementia – but only take place from time to time. A playlist becomes a constant, music to turn to whenever you want to do so.

I wonder what might be on your playlists? How do particular songs make you feel? What memories do they stir? Do share any thoughts in Medley’s Facebook group And to learn more about Playlist For Life, go to

Art As Tool

The more I experiment with art for wellbeing, the more possibilities emerge. I’ve written before about “art as refuge” and “art as tool” – the two distinct ways I feel art can help wellbeing. Art as refuge is the more familiar of the two to me, and I still think this has immense impact by absorbing, calming and focusing people’s minds away from issues. But through Medley I’ve also started to seek out other ways to use art and creativity as a tool, to express specific feelings more directly.

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Journaling is one possibility, using art to enhance a journal through the use of colour, image, decorative writing or scrapbooking. But I’m looking still further. I’ve experimented with a few drawings and paintings using imagery to represent and express feelings – a thought tree (where I painted a tree, then added thoughts wriiten on leaf shapes) and an umbrella picture (colourful umbrellas each reresenting something that shields us from pain or the negative, just as umbrellas shield us from the elements). But I’m still searching…

A while ago I came across an initiative which intrigued me and seemed to open up another perspective on expressing yourself through art. My Illustrated Mind is run by Kathryn Watson, an artist and researcher who first trained as a doctor. Her main aim is to enable “honest conversations” so that people feel less alone and mental health is more understood. A successful Kickstarter campaign crowdfunded My Illustrated Mind back in April 2021 and card decks were produced. You can see examples on the Gallery page of the website and they are so striking. Each set has a main “character” embodying a theme. There are human and animal characters, and as I myself particularly enjoy drawing, painting and observing wildlife, I focused first on the snow leopard character and its theme of mistrust and social isolation. It was memorable how the illustrations and words alike explored human experience through this character, conjuring the snow leopard as a “wounded animal”, cold and hopeless in remote mountain lands – and drawing immediate parallels with human feelings of isolation.

My Illustrated Mind is powerful because it is deeply rooted in individual, personal experience and yet is entirely transferable. This is someone exploring and sharing her own experience of mental health issues such as low self-esteem and isolation- and so enabling others to visualize and vocalize their own experiences. It’s also powerful because the cards open up opportunities to share, to talk and discuss and pool ideas and thoughts and reactions. People will all respond to the cards differently, maybe identifying with particular characters. They also help you think about what links different feelings. I might not have connected social isolation so closely with mistrust before, but these cards really brought out how one can fuel the other. All the cards differ in style too. Some echo graphic art, so they are particularly expressive, and words themselves become part of the images. These reminded me of the inner dialogue we can have, and of someone I knew who told me he was always losing arguments with himself.

Learn more about My Illustrated Mind at and it would also be great if you would like to share any responses or thoughts in Medley’s Facebook group focused on art and mental health, Think Art – just go to Thank you

The Garden Shed

People like to joke about men retreating to the shed to escape a nagging wife or household chores. But there’s a positive side to this too. A shed can become a refuge, a haven, a space away – to enjoy solitude or gardening or woodwork maybe. It’s an outdoor shelter. And it’s spawned an entire movement. All over Britain there are now men shed groups in all different locations and communities. Many are allied to Men’s Shed UK, a network organisation. Age UK runs various Men In Sheds premises, and sometimes man sheds become part of care farming initiatives.

Photo by James Frid on

The growth of men sheds as a movement illustrates the importance of nature, of creativity and of community alike in wellbeing. Participants might never think about “nature connectedness” or “mindfulness in nature”, but working in the sheds – and gardens and allotments which usually surround the sheds – can be elemental, connecting with the soil, the weather, fresh air and cycles of growth. Participants might also be doubtful about “creativity”. I myself have seen how far fewer men than women take part in arts for wellbeing. But using tools to do whittling or wood carving or wood turning or repairing just is creative. Just as I find painting and drawing absorbs, focuses, stimulates and calms my mind, so too will these other creative pastimes. Occupying the hands can occupy the mind as well.

And clearly, if men attend a shed, they gain “community”. Some might prefer to spend time in their own shed, alone, but for many sharing time and tasks with others will be more motivating. Men sheds can create a natural and low-key environment for men in particular to gather and be productive. This can combat loneliness & isolation, and create opportunities to express and share issues or concerns just as part of chatting and being together.

Early on in the Covid pandemic, many counsellors and therapists met clients outdoors, and some found this actually more helpful. Talking and listening while walking proved more natural and spontaneous, and less intimidating, for some people. I think this mirrors the impact of men sheds. While many men will attend simply to work or to chat, for some this will be an opportunity to share their feelings – for people who might never think to ask to see a counsellor. It could make a real difference.

One shed I’ve come across is to be found at the Don’t Lose Hope community garden in Bourne, near Peterborough. Linked to Men’s Shed Uk, it is nonetheless open to all. I’ve seen pictures of the shed and garden and this looks like a really productive and cooperative space, indoors and out. Different groups meet in the shed through the week, such as a young men’s group, a whittling group, a tool group and one for military personnel. Don’t Lose Hope is primarily a counselling and mental health initiative, and recognises that the garden and shed can open up a space for participants to share and talk while they work.

Have you or people you know attended or run a men shed? It would be great if you would like to share any experiences or other ideas in Medley’s Facebook group

What’s New?

It may be my inner nerd, but I like September and the idea of new beginnings – back to work or school, activity gearing up again as holidays recede. No, I don’t like the darker evenings of autumn – or the thought of winter ahead – but I do like its fresh start. It’s a time to think about doing differently, about trying something new if that’s possible, even if only in a small way. I do think that can really help wellbeing.

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I heard recemtly that since Covid, people have started taking up more new hobbies, pastimes & interests. The examples I heard were learning to surf, writing a book or learning to fly a plane. But obviously there are many, many possibilities, some more viable than others! Partly people started looking for new interests back in lockdown, when suddenly time opened up and they were at a loose end. But it’s also since lockdowns ended and life has returned to a more familiar pace that people have wanted to throw themselves into life all the more, to make the most of opportunities and to experiment and live life to the full.

Living life to the full can look very different to different people! You don’t have to take to the waves or to the sky. I also heard a separate survey which found that more younger adults have taken up traditional hobbies since lockdown, like gardening, painting, knitting and birdwatching. Covid turned life on its head for a while, and people started to think more widely about how to spend time. Pastimes themselves can be really positive, calming or stimulating, but so too can simply trying something new.

Hobbies and pastimes might seem flimsy ways to improve mental health and wellbeing. They won’t solve whatever issues may be going on in your life, but they will create stimulus, purpose, time out and a refuge – all known to improve wellbeing. They can ease overthinking for a time. They can reduce boredom and even loneliness, such enemies of wellbeing. One thing can lead on to another, and new hobbies can open other doors. Yes, it can be difficult to feel motivated, to find any spare time at all, or to focus and concentrate: but seize the odd moment here and there and see what helps or works. This in itself can aid concentration and motivate people to do more. New interests can also build self-expression and renew confidence.

Maybe you will try something daring and elemental, like learning to surf or to fly. Or maybe you’ll find time to knit or to plant bulbs for spring. Focus on trying something different and new to you, however small. Try a new art medium. Take autumn themed photos of berries and leaves and print these out to make cards or a montage to display in your home. Record the signs of autumn you see, like the last swallow and the first leaf tint and fall, and log these with The Woodland Trust’s Nature’s Calendar survey. Listen to a music genre that’s new to you, or experiment with playing an instrument – percussion can be a great way to improvise. Look at the Do It website to find a volunteering opportunity from home or outdoors. Start to learn a language – 26 September is the Day of Languages.

It would be great to hear what you’re thinking of trying, in Medley’s Facebook group

Down Time

Wellbeing is rarely simple. It’s a knotty and complex question. What helps one person’s wellbeing might do little for someone else. And so many different emotions come into play: joy, contentment, calm, hope, positivity, stimulus. It’s about far more than rest and relaxation alone, but these are important for anyone to “be well”. And I’ve just heard that 15 August is National Relaxation Day.

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August has long been about rest and relaxation, enjoying the sunshine. School’s out, so is parliament, and many people go away. It’s like a period of down time before activity gears up again as September begins.

Obviously August isn’t a holiday month for everyone. Living in the countryside, I’m aware that harvesting makes this one of the busiest times of year for farmers. Then there are people unable to get away because of commitments or illness. And there are people like me who see holidays more as an endurance test and who rest and relax in other ways! But whether August is holiday time for you or more like any other month, those “other ways” – interests like art, music or nature – can all become opportunities to rest and relax, which I do know is really important.

One positive side of musing music, art and nature to relax is that you can fit them in whenever it becomes possible, you don’t need to set aside time. Fifteen minutes here and there, half an hour or a couple of hours, can all refresh you here and now.

I wonder what music would be on a relaxing playlist for you. Maybe try something different and new to you. Piano music can be particularly relaxing: slow and reflective, dreamy and contemplative. Try listening to Chopin’s Prelude “The Raindrop” (Op 28 No 15), Piano Concerto No 2 by Shostakovich, or Einaudi’s Le Onde. Choral music like Faure’s Requiem or pieces by John Rutter can be uplifting and calming at once. Or try upbeat, lively songs like I Will Survive – relaxation doesn’t have to be sleepy! Or listen to a reflective song like Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay, or Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight from The Lion King.

Then try experimenting with art or craft, maybe an art form or medium you’ve never used before, like glass painting, pastels or stencilling. Colouring or drawing abstract patterns can be particularly restful, as there’s something about the order and balance of patterns that relaxes my mind. Or paint stylized flowers. Photography is something I think many people take for granted now they have phone cameras to hand all the time. Try making photography a slow, mindful, thoughtful activity, maybe trying macrophotography like some close-ups of plants. Art and craft are so productive, active and creative that they can become a positive outlet for your mind and your hands, relaxing you for a time.

Relax by experiencing nature as well, maybe listening to nature’s sounds online, like birdsong or waves on a shore. Or sometimes walking, cycling or running, being physically active, can be more relaxing than sitting in the shade or in the sun. They all take the mind (as well as the body) somewhere else – and fresh air and exertion, if possible, can also make you rest and sleep more easily.

These are just some ideas, maybe one or two might be possible for you to try. Or maybe you would like to share other ideas in Medley’s Facebook group

Climbing On Camera

Imagine mountain climbing and photographing your way around the world and you have some idea how US climber Jimmy Chin has spent the last twenty or more years. I first heard of Jimmy Chin last year when he published There and Back, a photographic book which also shares his life story. Photographs and documentary films like his open to me, and to many others, terrain I or we are unlikely ever to experience for ourselves. They allow me a glimpse of a very different way of living and being. They draw the extreme into the everyday.

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on

Many of us like to experience nature at first jand, maybe to explore wilder or remote landscapes or just to get outside to the park. Many of us also enjoy being active in nature, maybe running, walking, cycling or wild swimming. And many of us like to photographor video what we see. All these experiences can draw us out of ourselves. Some people take them further than others, pushing boundaries, undertaking extreme or adventure sports, going higher, further, deeper.

Jimmy Chin has climbed on all seven of the world’s continents, on rock, ice and snow, narrowly escaping death on different mountain ranges. Initially a “dirtbag climber”, living in his car for several years, a life he now misses, Chin came to others’ notice as his climbing progressed. Inspired by the wildernesses he inhabited, he began photographing his own and others’ climbs as well. He has gone on to shoot some of the world’s most extreme terrain and scenery, and some of the daring and skill of the people who climb that terrain. Looking at his images, nature stands out, but so too do human experiences of nature: in the vastness of the mountains, the climbers stand out, small in scale but drawing the eye in their colourful gear, bold against the monochrome landscape of snow and rock.

To me photography is all about the moment, being so focused on that moment that you want to preserve and hold the moment so it stands outside time. But Jimmy Chin writes how he has struggled with the way photograph took him out of the moment, when it was living in the moment which was a spur to his climbing. Maybe it’s all how you understand being in the moment. Maybe wondering when and where to shoot, what to leave out, you are thinking and assessing instead of simply being there. But in another way I feel that you are all the more in the moment as you observe more closely.

Jimmy Chin makes documentary films for National Geographic and co-directs cinema and streaming films with his wife. Extreme skiing is another of his pursuits, skiing down no less than Mount Everest some years ago.

Few of us will climb mountains let alone on every continent. Few of us will spend time in such wild terrain. Few of us will photograph such landscapes. But images and films like these can inspire with their power and otherness and scale. Simply looking at these photographs can become in itself an encounter with wilderness and adventure. They might also inspire us to seek out our own experiences of nature, maybe closer to home, but still an encounter with the wildness of all nature.

You may have thoughts on these, or other ideas – It would be great to hear any responses in Medley’s Facebook group

Call Of The Wild

Awe, wonder, empathy, caring – just a few of the ways you might respond to animals. Maybe you like interacting with them. Stroking an animal’s fur, grooming a horse or feeling a pet or companion animal’s warmth beside you can all be reassuring and therapeutic. It’s interacting with another living being, a feeling of connecting and relating. There’s no need for spoken language, which can also be helpful if people have speech or communication issues. Some people take therapy animals into care homes, and more schools now have a school dog. Care farming creates opportunities to relate to farm animals, maybe familiar ones, like cows and pigs, or the less familiar, like alpacas.

Roe Deer, Giant Panda and Leopard by Isobel Murdoch

Some of us respond to wild animals: to the unknown, the elusive, the thrill of a sudden glimpse, sheer wild and untamed nature. The UK has comparatively few wild mammal species, but still a sighting of a stoat perhaps, streaking across the road, is possible, or of an urban fox, kindling your imagination. Even looking out for signs of wildlife – burrows on a bank or mole hills on a roadside verge – can open a window on a different, hidden world. I remember once seeing a mole above ground during daylight, alive and moving but out of its element, and it set me imagining what its underground life is like.

Like birds, animals add movement and energy to the outdoors. They live their lives largely unaware of us, wild and free but alsp dependent on getting through each day. They are unpredictable. They open up new perspectives on life, for they’re oblivious to issues which might preoccupy us.

Wildlife film making and photography open up another world of opportunity to experience wild animals, wherever you are. Watching wildlife on screen is stimulating, a burst of colour and movement and life. Photography itself is powerful, and some images stand out. I was immediately struck by a 2005 photograph I saw by Paras Chandaria, of a giraffe on the edge of Nairobi, amidst low trees, with the city’s skyscrapers silhouetted behind. The image was taken to highlight all that could be lost to a new railway line. And yes, the more we see wildlife’s fragility the more we might treasure what we see.

For me and for many other people, art becomes a way to interact with wildlife. It’s an opportunity to observe more closely, to focus on what truly sets an animal apart, to enter their world. Trying to capture an animal’s expression or the look of their fur can become very absorbing! And in that time, other issues can recede for a time and you can zone out and concentrate on creativity. Participants in my Birds A-Z Challenge last year shared how alongside the art itself, learning about the world’s birds was a very positive experience. Now it’s the animals’ turn, as my Animals A-Z Art For Wellbeing Challenge is set to start on August 4.

There’s no need to commit to the entire A-Z, participants just sign up and then take part as and when they want to! From alpaca to zebra, via donkey, gorilla, giant panda and tiger…Each week we’ll focus on a different letter of the alphabet, to draw, paint or occasionally craft animals beginning with that letter. Participants will receive ideas, and an example image with instructions, by email each week, and there will be a dedicated private Facebook group for participants to share artwork, tips and ideas. It will also be an opportunity to explore how and why wildlife (and art) help boost wellbeing, so you could also share sightings or photos…– to sign up please go to Animals A-Z Art For Wellbeing Challenge Tickets, Thu 4 Aug 2022 at 15:00 | Eventbrite

Or if you would like to share thoughts now about how animals impact on wellbeing, then it would be great to hear them in Medley’s Facebook group Thank you.

On A Different Note

Yes, music’s impact on dementia is well known, and there are many different initiatives and opportunities. But there’s also growing need and demand as dementia becomes ever more common, and here I’m thinking about some different ways of sharing music and sound, and how these could impact people in diverse ways.

Photo by Skylar Kang on

Three possibilities stand out. I know some people find it helpful to experiment with playing an instrument, rather than listening, particularly in the early or middle stages of dementia. This specific area could develop. Musical instruments tend to be expensive, and someone new to music might have no idea which to try. Subsidised instruments would be great, as well as support and guidance on which to try, which might be most suited to improvisation – maybe percussion or keyboard. This could open up new opportunities and enable active music-making which could be empowering.

The second area which stands out is the need to find imaginative ways to share music with people who have dementia and are housebound. So much music for dementia focuses on care homes (inevitably there are more opportunities here as they are organized group settings) or day centres or groups like the Singing For The Brain groups run by Alzheimer’s Society. But many people who have dementia live in their own or their families’ homes, and are largely or entirely housebound. When they – and their family carers – struggle their way though each day’s routine tasks, getting to experience music could seem unimportant or irrelevant and a sideshow. But it is far from that. There are now more opportunities to enjoy music at home through technology, with streamed performances. There are also tools like the BBC Music Memories web app, a great way to locate music from a particular era, maybe when the person who has dementia was young, and BBC Memory Radio. More such initiatives would help. And as more events and groups return to being in-person now that Covid has moved to a new phase, it’s so important that virtual, online and streamed alternatives continue as well. It’s also good to highlight how listening at home can even be more positive, as it’s more flexible in time and taste – we all have strong likes and dislikes and music is very personal.

Nor should we assume that every person who has dementia will want to listen to music, all or even any of the time. Silence can be important as well, and some people may find music too loud or distressing. Listening to sounds of the natural world can also be very helpful as an alternative, such as recorded birdsong, a waterfall or waves on a seashore. It would be great if online recorded sounds were more widely known and shared with this use in mind.

There are so many different impacts music and song can and do have. I’ve only highlighted three specific areas – support to play an instrument, more specific opportunities for people who are housebound, and a flexible focus covering natural sound as well as music. You may have thoughts on these, or other ideas – it would be great to hear any responses in Medley’s Facebook group