A message to every carer in Torbay

Old man smiling as he listens to headphones

Do you want all you know with dementia to look as happy as our friend above? - Credit: Submitted

A very happy New Year to all.  

This week’s message is for every carer in Torbay - whether they work in a care home, nursing home or at home with loved ones who have dementia.

In the last 18 months the Torbay Purple Angel dementia campaign has been giving away free - yes, that’s free - MP3s which are uploaded with music which is chosen by the person with dementia or his/ her loved ones or carers, thus ensuring they are happy songs and songs that take them back to wonderful times of contentment. 

The last 18 months we have given out around 150 a month all over the UK.

Thing is, unfortunately, only 10 per cent have gone to care homes around Torbay, despite me, personally, emailing every care home in the Bay and getting in touch via Facebook, Twitter etc.

We have had full pages in local care magazines, had an appeal to all by the head of social services  of Torbay and had two pieces in this wonderful paper itself,  and yet only 10 per cent of what we have sent out have been requested by homes in Torbay when other care homes and nursing homes around the UK are scrabbling for these.

I really am at a loss as to know why.

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Anybody who knows me knows how passionate I am about the Bay and how involved the Purple Angel campaign is with local community groups. 

I will always put Torbay first and have tried to with our most successful campaign to date.

So I need you to contact us and let us know how many people you know with dementia you think will benefit from having one of these.

Yes, we only have so many and, no, we don’t have a bottomless pit of money - we rely fully on donations. Those we do have in our possession, I really would like as many as possible to go to care homes around Torbay.

The responses and feedback from them has been nothing short of incredible, see the examples below.

What people are witnessing is tangible evidence happening right in front of their eyes when those with dementia who haven’t spoken for weeks, or are not eating or drinking properly start to do so after wearing the MP3.

No, it's not a cure but it brings the person back from the edge if only for a short time and shows that the person you once knew is still in there.

Please contact me on norrms@gmail.com - that’s norrms with two RRs or I won’t get it. All we ask is a bit of feedback from each MP3 given out and if anybody wants to make a donation, it will be welcomed.

Feedback so far includes:

"Mum spent most of the past two or three months in and out of hospital and back to care home, with each move disorienting and frightening her, as a result she had very challenging behaviour. A new nursing home was found for her, I was able to send the MP3 player to the home.

"I got a lovely video call from her last week and was astonished at the wonderful change in her. She thanked me for the music and started singing the songs and said she's happy now with her favourite music.

"I couldn't believe my eyes at the difference in her. The power of music is so amazing for dementia. Thank you from bottom of my heart for helping my mum come back to me."