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Music's role in Dementia
‘Time and time again we have experienced the effect music has on people living with memory loss and dementia and these are some examples…
“Mum has her ‘music box’ on all day and knows the words to all the songs now! Music definitely lifts her mood and I think is good for her memory as she definitely knows the words more than she used to.”
Music is a Powerful Tool
There is growing evidence that music can be calming and/or stimulating for people living with memory loss or dementia. Research has often highlighted the importance of sensory experience for people with dementia as cognitive function deteriorates and its potential efficacy in the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia (BPSD). Music has been suggested to be a vital tool in reducing these behavioural and psychological symptoms, as it can recreate the ‘common ground’ stolen from their relationships and improve the individual’s quality of life and that of their family, friends and carers.
What we are Doing to Harness this
During the lockdown in 2020, together with our technology development partners DabApps, we developed a Web App, which allows users to create a personalised playlist for a loved one with memory loss or dementia in 15 minutes using information about their music preferences inputted by family or a friend.
We are now inviting families to try out our App and create a personalised playlist for a loved one. Feedback from users on their experience with the App and the effects music listening has is really helpful to us, as we continue to develop the App. Such feedback will also contribute to growing evidence on the benefits of personalised music for people with dementia, with the goal to influence future clinical and CQC guidelines on dementia care.