Rock Against Dementia began in the USA when Wayne Mesker and Michael Rossato-Bennett of the Alive Inside Foundation were promoting musical events, with the aim of fundraising for headphones to bring free music to residents of care homes. Music has been shown to be of huge benefit to those suffering with dementia. From that humble beginning a few years ago Wayne Mesker was contacted by Norms Mc Namara (Founder of Global Purple Angel dementia awareness campaign).
Norms asked if he could change it to WORLD Rocks Against Dementia, or WRAD as its now known, with the reason being the Purple Angel Campaign is known all around the world and it could turn a 1 country event into a Global event. Thankfully, Wayne agreed and the rest, as they say, is history!! World Rocks Against Dementia (WRAD ) has been taking place over the last four years. In 2017 there were 76 events in 12 countries and in March 2018 there were 85 events taking place in 20 countries. 2019 saw 120 events worldwide. Some events took place in care homes and others were huge fundraising parties. Ticketed events and raffles took place along with an on-line event staged by Dementia Alliance International. Funds were raised for some of the big dementia charities but also for local Memory Cafes and other smaller voluntary efforts raising awareness of dementia. 2018 events were also in memory of Glen Campbell; David Cassidy and Malcolm Young from AC/DC who all passed away with dementia in 2017.
Any kind of music – rock, country, western, classical or traditional and any funds raised can be used for a dementia project of choice. Music activates certain regions in the brain which are involved in movement, planning, attention, learning and memory. Music can release dopamine in the brain which lessens anxiety and improves mood. Music gives pleasure and brings back lost memories. It helps to boost the immune system and creates a feeling of wellbeing with good feelings which boost the immune system. It also allows people to recall personal memories and can relieve pain. When you enjoy your favourite music it can give all these benefits and more besides. Improved concentration levels allow people with dementia to “come alive inside”, speaking, singing along and smiling as they may not have done for a long time.
You can get involved by planning your own event or attending somebody elses! To find out more about WRAD, or post any details about your planned event, visit the WRAD Facebook page.
Let’s make this year the biggest yet!