Photo: YAN KRUKOV/PEXELS.COM

MusicalMente, stimulating the brain through music

New group brings people with dementia and carers together in Portimão

Initiative || “MusicalMente” (or MusicalMind) is a weekly group activity that brings people with dementia and their family members or carers together to reminiscence popular songs from the past, in a fun, safe and warming environment.

The group is led by a musician and a psychologist and supported by the precious help of volunteers.

As participants arrive, there will be a meet and greet period with light refreshments for everyone to socialise and, after this warm-up, it’s time to sing and let music and memories come alive. Sessions will be an hour long and participants are expected to arrive 20 minutes before start.

Participants are not expected to know how to sing, the purpose of the group is to offer a fun activity, specifically designed for people with dementia to be in a fun and safe environment, spending a pleasant time and to encourage reminiscence – remembering experiences and events from the past – and stimulating the brain through music.

Whether singing or playing light instruments, people with dementia take an active part in the group, which benefits them on cognitive, behavioural, social and emotional levels. Coming along with a carer or family member also strengthens a greater bond between them and offers quality time for both.

In the past decades, research shows the benefits of music on people with dementia and the results are impressive:
• Music can help recall important life events
• Musical rhythm seems to help Alzheimer’s patients to organise time and space
• Music seems to stimulate verbal functioning which will increase opportunities to engage socially
• Feelings of agitation and depression can be relieved

The group gathers on Mondays (fortnightly sessions starting on January 24) from 11am to 12.30pm at the Centro Paroquial do Amparo in Rua Padre Arsénio Castro da Silva in Portimão.

Attendance is free but enrolment is mandatory.

If you would like take part in the group or know anyone who would benefit, contact Alzheimer Portugal Algarve branch on telephone 965 276 690 or email geral.algarve@alzheimerportugal.org