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Playlist for Life

Our Welfare team has been discovering how music can be a powerful stimulation for people with dementia. 
They first came to hear about the interesting research at the ‘Making Life Easier’ event hosted by the Dementia Services Development Centre of Stirling and the Big Lottery at Murrayfield earlier this year, (as guests of Professor June Andrews, a leading voice on dementia) where they gave a workshop for delegates on ‘Care in the home to Treasure in the Attic’.  

The new Playlist for Life Charity aims to make it possible for every person with dementia – whether in their own home or in a care setting – to have access to a playlist of personally meaningful music from their past life, delivered via an iPod. It seems that if music is personal enough to the individual and delivered often, at times that suit each person’s unique needs and condition, it can make a huge difference to someone living with dementia. 
Our Welfare team, because of the unique work carried out by Jo and Fiona in helping elderly and vulnerable clients, are well placed to help and are delighted to be assisting the Charity with their research and trialling of playlists in the East of Scotland. The results are very encouraging and it seems that if music can be delivered correctly and carefully it can stimulate memory and often reawaken – for a time – a sense of identity which is often lost to a dementia sufferer. 
It is hoped in time that a training package will be drawn up so that ultimately every person with dementia is in a position to be offered access to their own uniquely calibrated life-music at any time of day or night, exactly when they need it, to calm them in times of agitation, enliven them in times of boredom and stupor, bring back memories and enable them to discover the joy of being able to summon words again.  It is a very exciting project to be part of. 
Research is in its early stages but if you would like more information about Playlist for Life or any of the other services our Welfare team provide please contact Jo Downie or Fiona Shand.