Paula Bain hands over a Playlist For Life plaque


A guest blog from our Training Officer, Paula Bain

On 11th August I visited Braeside House (Royal Blind) in Edinburgh and was delighted to award the home Certified Playlist for Life status in recognition of their personal music for dementia project.


During the visit, I presented staff with their Award Plaque and heard how playlists are being incorporated in to daily care in the home, where many of the residents are registered blind.     


So far nearly twenty-one individual playlists have been created. Initially the playlists were used by the activities team who played the music for group activities and with individuals for one-to-one sessions. It wasn’t long before care staff began to see the benefits personally meaningful music was having on individual residents and they began to use their playlists at specific points in the day to help manage difficult activities. One lady’s playlist was used by night staff to ease the disruption of hallucinations which kept her awake at night. Lack of sleep had led to her missing many social activities during the day, but introducing the music helped calm and refocus the resident, enabling her to sleep better.


Family members and visitors were also invited to play a role in the creation of the playlists and they found this to be helpful during visits, as it provided an opportunity to listen to the music and share happy memories together.


The staff reported that some residents have formed new friendships through their music – a couple of ladies who once sat in silence now sing together as their playlists are piped throughout the home. I also heard how one resident has played a key role in helping others find their music by sharing her songs and inspiring them to reconnect to the music that was part of their lives.


Manager Serena Allan has encouraged everyone to get involved and has put plans in place to keep the project going in the home. The scheduling of individual playlists is now becoming part of the day-to-day care of residents and Playlist for Life is now introduced to residents at point of admission and to new staff members as part of their induction. The aim is to keep playing the music!