Pilot studies for people living with dementia will be starting soon. We have our team in place and volunteers identified, as we finalise preparations for the study.
We are asking ‘friends and family’, who live locally, to come up with a list of songs that shaped their teenage years. We have provided them with guiding questions that can help stir key memories that they associate with music. Based on their answers, Spotify, a music program which is available worldwide, will generate a personalized playlist that will then be played back to them in order to monitor and record their reactions. Favourite music is well known to have a positive effect on many people – from just smiling to tapping our feet and singing along. The results from these pilot studies will provide data that shows the feasibility of a more technological approach to bringing favourite music to people on a larger scale.
We will be using a monitoring device, similar to a wrist watch, so that it can easily be put on and taken off by the volunteers. This will monitor different variables such as heart rate and neurological responses to the music. Technological specialists will analyse the data received from this device, synchronised with the music being played.
If you care for someone living with dementia, why not help improve their quality of life by helping them remember key music moments from their past, particularly their teenage years. You can ask them about their favourite genre of music, whether they played a musical instrument or sang in a choir. Did they go to church and sing hymns or Christmas carols? Identifying favourite music can bring back happy memories and improve wellbeing.
We are at full speed here at Music for My Mind and will keep updating the progress of our studies. If you have any personal stories and experiences from caring for someone living with dementia don’t hesitate to contact us and share these experiences with us so that we can better help the people we care for and love.