Health service in UK prescribes music and dance for the elderly


A National Health Service regional planning group has issued a manifesto that “says it aims to reinvent health services by encouraging people to engage with cultural activities instead of focusing solely on medicine. … ‘Too many of life’s problems are seen as only amenable to medical treatment. We all too readily turn people into patients. … There are no pills for loneliness and poverty but a rich cultural context can help ensure residents are better connected to each other and feel more able to cope.”

Halton Clinical Commissioning Group, which plans NHS services in Cheshire, aims to “put a choir in every care home” and calls for a “paradigm shift” in health care.

Key manifesto points

  • Acknowledge the power of the spoken and written word to build well-being and aid recovery.
  • Promote singing and music to drive intergenerational connectivity and mental and physical well-being.
  • Working with charity Live Music Now with an ambition to put a choir in every care home – and extend this to schools and workplaces.
  • Promote dance in communities to promote active lives, reduce frailty through enhanced core stability, and combat social isolation.


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