Hosting a dementia friendly Musical Tea

Are you hosting a Musical Tea this year? 

Musical Teas are a fun way to come together for a cuppa and cake and raise awareness of the power of personal music for those living with dementia. Due to current public health guidelines, events are looking quite different to how they normally would, but there are still lots of ways you can get involved in the fun, in a safe and enjoyable way. For up-to-date government guidelines on social distancing see the government’s Coronavirus guidelines

If you’re able to host an event in-person, Here are a few tips for making sure your event is dementia friendly and an enjoyable experience for all.

1.      Choose music you know your group will enjoy. If you can, ask people in advance if there are songs they would like you to play during your Musical Tea. There’s lots of ideas for finding the right music on our Resources page – head to section 2 for inspiration on music that will resonate with your audience.

2.  Appeal to the senses with your environment – the smell of freshly baked cakes, a bright tablecloth and some favourite music playing in the background are all great ways to make your event multi-sensory.

3.     Give people name badges when they arrive. You can use big sticky labels and a marker pen to write their names so they are easy to read.

4.    When making conversation, stick to one subject at a time and avoid starting with a factual question that involves memory.

5.  It’s a simple gesture, but a smile can go a long way. As can open and relaxed body language. Spend a little extra time with a person with dementia to make sure they feel welcome and involved in the fun. This can help to minimise feelings of isolation and exclusion.  

5.    Ask questions that allow for ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses or in a way that gives the person a choice e.g.‘would you like tea or coffee?’.

6.    Make sure people have plenty of time to relax and enjoy themselves. It’s important that nobody feels rushed and they have enough time to eat.

8.    Have a good old singalong! Why not take a look at our Musical Tea activities resources? We have a fun Guess the missing song lyric activity with options from the 1960s to 1990s. It’s a great starting point for a fun-filled singalong.

     Ready to start planning your event? Register now for our free Musical Tea pack and access lots more resources for planning your event. There are also top-tips for hosting a virtual event, so you can join in the fun even if you can’t meet in person.

Do you have any more ideas for hosting a dementia friendly event? Share them with us on social media using #MusicalTea.