Norman McNamara may not look like your stereotypical angel but he may be the closest some of us will come to one on this earth (with the obvious exception of care home staff, nurses etc)!
After being diagnosed with dementia at the age of 50, “Norrms” (note the double r) set up the Purple Angel charity in his home town of Torbay to raise awareness, give hope to and empower people with dementia.
A decade on, the Purple Angel Dementia Campaign is recognised in over 60 countries worldwide and has over 1,200 Global Purple Angel dementia ambassadors.
Aware of the benefits that music can bring to people suffering from dementia, Norrms and his team have recently been focusing on helping care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, and people living at home by giving out FREE MP3s players with 15 of the person’s favourite pieces of music already uploaded.
Here’s Norrms to explain –
The results have been incredible. Here are just a few of the testimonials from the Purple Angel website:
- The difference the MP3 players have made has to almost be seen to be believed. With BG (Da Vinci) who was approaching the end of her life, not accepting personal care, not eating or drinking and was very thin. To see her now right from the moment she had her MP3 player – singing, dancing, smiling, talking, eating and drinking and has gained some weight. Every day I see her, I still cannot believe the change.
- We cannot thank Norrms and Purple Angel enough, you have brought so much joy to so many residents, their family and the staff.
- Staff have been so excited by the results they have asked us to request more MP3 players for other residents. Families who have seen the reaction of residents listening to the MP3 players have asked if we can get them for their relatives.
To request a free MP3 player, headphones and music all you have to do is fill in this form and send it to Norrms. The charity will even pay the postage!
For multiple orders please contact Norrms direct. Initial orders from care homes are limited to 4 per care home.
If you would like to donate to support the amazing work of the Purple Angel Dementia Campaign Charity (Reg No 1189616) please contact them direct.
And when you next have a spare 25 minutes, do watch this film of Norrms made by Division Seven Productions.
“Norrms tells the story of one man and his vision for a more dementia friendly world. Against all odds, despite being diagnosed with dementia, he created a world wide movement for dementia awareness, now known as The Purple Angel, while also being appointed one of Prime Minister Cameron’s ‘Dementia Champions.’ He could have given up, thrown in the towel; instead he chose to devote the end of his life to improving the futures of others”.
If you enjoyed this, I am sure you will also enjoy our feature on The Songaminute Man elsewhere in this week’s edition.
UPDATE 25th March. Normms has sent us this message from Sanctuary Care/Furzehatt Care Home –
We have had some fantastic results from our MP3 players.
One lady, Mrs F is a lady with end stage dementia. She is non verbal and generally disengaging with any activities or interventions. Since introducing her to her MP3 player, which had some songs on there which were popular around the time this lady was in her 20-30’s, she appears to try and mouth the words to the songs, her head is less bent over to the side and she smiles. It really is incredible.
Another lady, Mrs T. She has dementia with Parkinson’s disease and an underlying anxiety disorder. Her anxiety has been such a concern for her family as it has resulted in her climbing out of bed and crawling across the floor, becoming incredibly distressed prior to window visits from her husband and daughter etc. It was really quite upsetting for us all to see. She accepted the MP3 player without issue. This lady enjoys classical music, so has a choice of Classical music on her player. When she begins to become anxious, we give her her MP3 player, and this has proven to help relax her and calm her down, so much so, that yesterday, for the first time in months, she was able to have a conversation and smile with her husband and daughter and it made such a difference for her and her family to have a positive visiting experience.
The last lady, Mrs W, is a lady with advanced Parkinson’s who has severe tremors affecting her mobility and independence. She chose the music she enjoys and has used the MP3 player a few times when her tremors have become problematic for her. It has reduced the number of occasions that she has not required her PRN Parkinson’s medication.
I hope this is helpful for you, it really has been amazing. Kind Regards