What’s in store for 2019 – looking ahead

Achievements and visions

What have we achieved so far and what we plan to, looking ahead in 2019. The past year has been an inspiring and exciting one for Music for my Mind, filled with incredible support from so many people. Our journey and key milestones so far have included conducting pilot studies in care homes, assembling an influential and highly skilled group of Trustees, staff, advisors and during 2018 – gaining over 350 supporters.

We have developed important partnerships with a range of organisations and individuals who can help us, in the last year most importantly with Quantum Care – a group of care homes excited about innovation and use of technology to improve the quality of life of their residents.

Over the past year we have also been fortunate enough to expand our team and welcome a full-time Project Assistant, Dimana Georgieva, and a Research Associate, Jordana Peake (you can read an interview with her here). We also have the vital support and advice of many experienced consultants in strategy, fundraising, marketing and technology development.

Looking ahead

With all these achievements, we are raring to go to dive into another year of this exciting journey. Looking ahead, our main activities in 2019 will focus on research and further technology development.

Music for my mind - looking ahead in 2019Research:
In 2019 we will be undertaking the first phase of social science/mixed methodology research to explore issues such as:

  • a systematic review of the literature on music and dementia;
  • a favourite songs review by age in non-dementia populations.
  • demography in care homes, including
    § stages and severity of dementia,
    § the proportion of residents with relatives and how often they visit,
    § who has power of attorney?
    § drugs being prescribed
    § music and other activities currently being used

Our research associate is working on programme of feasibility studies and accompanying protocols, including consideration of appropriate levels of ethics review. Through this programme, we will explore some key operational questions such as the frequency, timing and length of use of personalised music, impact on sleep or wellbeing, etc.

MFMM looking ahead in 2019Product development:

Our other main are of focus throughout the year is to continue developing a tool for creating and delivering personalised playlists that can easily be used and implemented in care homes. During 2019 we aim to draw up the specification for an app to enable rapid creation of personalised playlists, using existing music delivery services (such as Spotify) and based on people’s musical and behavioural background. This involves a lot of tests and versions, to reach a product that will work best within a range of care settings.

Alongside these two main areas of activity, we will continue to raise awareness about the effects of personalised music for people living with dementia, through different campaigns and initiatives throughout the year. We will also keep our stakeholders and supporters informed of relevant news in this area and other relevant technological or therapeutic advancements.

We at Music for my Mind hope to get much closer in 2019 to our vision for every care home in Britain to have a music programme and for everyone living with dementia to benefit from personalised music as an integral part of the therapy and care they receive.

To support our journey, visit our crowdfunding page to donate.

Arts and Healthcare

MFMM bubble brain 2Scope of Arts and Health: Arts in healthcare embraces many practices including arts in medicine, design of hospitals, the arts and humanities in medical education, the arts in palliative care, creative arts therapies and arts applications with children and older people. These programmes are now found in a high proportion of health care settings: hospital wards, premature baby units, community clinics, traumatic stress and mental health facilities and in public health. Survey evidence shows these initiatives are spreading.
Evaluation studies claim a considerable array of benefits may flow from such initiatives, although in the words of the US Arts in Healthcare Society, research in the area remains ‘anecdote rich and data poor’
(Arts in Healthcare. State of the Field Report. Arts in Healthcare Society, USA, 2009,1-20).

Benefits claimed include:
• Improvements in patient wellbeing, patient and carer stress levels and mood
• Significant health outcomes e.g. improved lung function and lower blood pressure
• Reduced health care costs (less medication use & consultations per health outcome)
• Greater community engagement in health promotion and wellbeing programmes
• Improved end of life care for patients and their relatives
• Improvement in morale and retention of health care staff

Project Update

Project update

Things are moving quickly here at Music For My Mind, we have an App Developer in place as well as an experienced individual working on the monitoring devices for responses to music.

Project update Music for My MindIt looks like we may also have an experienced social worker to join the team. She has been a dementia pathfinder and founded My Home Life. It’s all systems go now so that we can start making a positive difference to people living with dementia.

We have our new logo and this website to let people know what we are doing and how they can help.

We have all the paperwork and signatures sent off to register this new charity and we have been given generous donations in order to open the bank account.

Great news too that we also have some elderly volunteers who are living with dementia and their families who have come forward to help us.

On a personal note, if you have been on this ‘dementia journey’, with a loved one, or are currently on it, at whatever stage, you will understand the feeling of helplessness that this disease instills in you.

You now recognise the tell-tale signs of dementia that had been evident much earlier but you put them down to stress or eccentricity. You feel guilty that you misjudged their behaviour as uncaring or spiteful when all the time the dementia pathology was becoming established.

Music for My Mind offers the opportunity to reconnect, a chance to experience the comfort of the familiar for both of you.

If you would like to try your own experiments with personalised music with your family or group, please let us know what happens.