The benefits of creating a ‘Playlist for Life’

Playlist for Life

As September is Alzheimer’s awareness month, we look at the charity ‘Playlist for Life’ and reflect on their work to help reconnect dementia suffers with their loved ones through music.

Last week Playlist for Life held a fundraising dinner at the Scottish Parliament hosted by Sally Magnusson and John Beattie. Sally Magnusson founded the charity following her own experiences with her mother and dementia. She wrote about this in her book ‘Where Memories go’. The aim of the charity is 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 life, delivered via an iPod. 

A playlist filled with the person’s favourite songs can help to unlock memories which assist the person reconnect with loved ones. There is mounting evidence that if people with dementia are offered frequent access to the music in which their past experience and memories are embedded, it can improve their present mood, their awareness, their ability to understand and think and their sense of identity and independence.

It can also reduce the reliance of medication and make stressful and difficult tasks easier such as bathing and feeding. Sally told of her experiences of caring for her mother and a poignant video was shown which can be found here.

Balfour+Manson LLP are actively involved with the charity.  Shona Brown, Partner and Head of Private Client is a trustee and our Client Welfare team have been working with Sally and the Playlist for Life charity; Jo Downie and Fiona Shand have helped clients with dementia and their families to compile playlists and to ensure that they have the requisite equipment to listen to their music either in the care home or in their own homes.  

Sally’s idea has proven to be hugely successful and inexpensive. The charity now wishes to raise £22,500 to set up 150 new hubs across the country in community libraries and churches where people can go for practical help and advice on creating playlists.

The firm is proud to actively support Playlist for Life and if you are interested in donating you can do so by clicking here.