Have you ever had the experience of hearing a piece of music on the radio and been transported back to a time, place or event in our lives? Perhaps it was your first dance at your wedding, a concert you attended or a track from your favourite musical. Music is so powerful for so many of us and more and more research is highlighting the additional benefit for those living with a dementia.
The power of music, seems to reach parts of the brain in ways other forms of communication cannot. Some studies are showing that finding the right music for an individual may result in less anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medication. Individually chosen music can aid therapeutic benefits of other music provided by our homes.
Our appeal is that families help create a personalised playlist for their relative in our care. You may not know all their favourite music but you probably know more than you think. I can think back to my grandmother’s house and I probably would have found a number of clues to help me select music: sheet music, programmes from musicals, memory of her singing as she baked cakes, and the theme tune to her favourite TV programme to name a few.
We would love for our residents to have a playlist of music that means the most to them. It could be on an iPod, tablet or other device and staff would gladly play the music and hear the stories it uncovers. The music might soothe, calm, comfort, or even provide an opportunity to get up and dance.