'It helps them remember - and gives us a chance to forget'

Musical Memories Dementia Choir in Hamilton celebrated its tenth birthday with a special concert.

The Musical Memories Dementia Choir in Hamilton has celebrated its tenth birthday by putting on a special concert for family and friends.

The group is run by volunteers and relies entirely on donations.

It has around 30 members who go every week to sing their favourite songs together. Some have lost the ability to speak but can, remarkably, still sing.

Danny, 80, was diagnosed with dementia in his early 70s and has always loved to sing.

Isabelle and Danny sing with the choir every week.

“It’s great because we don’t do an awful lot now,” said his wife Isabelle. “Danny enjoys singing, although he doesn’t talk, so that’s what it’s all about.

“He gets a bit emotional singing because he used to sing quite a lot. Now he really enjoys what’s going on.”

The choir is for people with dementia and their carers, and has proved transformative for both.

“You can get very low, very depressed,” said Margaret, who cares for her husband Robert. “Then someone told me about this choir and I couldn’t believe it when I came along.

 Margaret and Robert joined the choir after lockdown.

“It’s great because hopefully for my husband, it will spark something in him from the past. For me, it helps me to forget. It’s an hour-and-a-half of pure luxury.”

Choir leader Anna Neil used to attend the group with her mother. When her mum passed away, she joined them full-time as a volunteer.

“We have fun when we come here, this is not a sad place,” she said. “You leave your troubles at the door and you just enjoy yourself.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code