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Playlist for Life’s consultation response to the Health and Social Care Strategy for Older People in Scotland

In March 2022, the Scottish Government published a consultation paper on the Health and Social Care Strategy for Older People.  The paper highlights the risk of dementia, person-centred care, home, and a community-first approach as important factors to people living in Scotland.

Over two decades of scientific research show that music (and in particular music that is personally meaningful) can have a hugely positive impact on the lives of people living with dementia. Hence, as Playlist for Life, we have published our response to the consultation, in which we point to the opportunity for music to be inducted into the standard care strategy, as it can have an immediate effect on the mental health and quality of life of older people living well with dementia in the community. 

We were so impressed with Playlist for Life’s incredible impact helping people with dementia. It has taken a simple concept and used it to deliver profound results, providing a way to connect to the past and help families living with dementia. Its evidence-based approach is highly impressive, with trials in hospitals and care homes showing that people with dementia need less medication when Playlist for Life is included in their care.

Katie Pinnock Director of UK and Ireland Charitable Partnerships, GSK

Evidence shows that personalised music playlists are non-invasive, pose little to no risk to people with dementia, and require minimal training. They can reduce carer stress and have the potential to offset costs associated with long term dementia. Furthermore, personalised playlists can be incorporated from the time of diagnosis to various stages of care and end-of-life care.

We believe all older people living with dementia reserve the right to have music as part of their health and social care, and therefore we recommend that the Scottish Government incorporates this as a beneficial intervention within the Health and Social Care Strategy for Older Adults.

Personalised playlist in action

Playlists consisting of personally meaningful music are easy to use and implement in a variety of settings, such as at home in the community as well as in a professional care setting. The videos below give a compelling insight into the reach of personalised playlists.