Caregiving is one of the most challenging roles a person can do. It entails irregular hours, is emotionally draining and is often balanced with competing priorities like work and parenting. There are currently over 700,000 people across the UK in this job as they provide unpaid care for a friend or relative who can’t care for themselves.
At Playlist for Life, we recognise & support unpaid dementia carers this #CarersWeek and every week. Our resources will always be free to any carer who needs them, and we regularly host training sessions on how to use our resources in a caregiving environment.
Music in caregiving and dementia
Caregivers often tell us that looking after someone with dementia is challenging. Not only are the symptoms difficult to manage, seeing a person who is close to you in distress can be very upsetting.
Many of us find joy in music everyday but for someone living with dementia, one personally meaningful song can be a lifeline. That’s why we’re working to ensure everybody affected by dementia knows how to harness the power of personalised playlists.
Carers looking after a loved one with dementia can use a playlist while supporting someone to eat or wash or while getting them settled for bed. Music can also be used to bring back memories and spark conversation – it’s a small, low-cost tool that can go a long way.
How music can help manage dementia
Decades of scientific research has proven that music can be beneficial to those living with dementia. In September 2019 the World Health Organisation carried out a major study on the health benefits of the arts on dementia. A part on dementia found that music reduced anxiety and depression, and supported cognition speech and therapy. Music can also spark conversation, reignite memories and bring moments of joy to the caregiver and the person being cared for.
If you’re a carer and want to try our free resources, they can be found here and downloaded any time.