We are delighted to announce that Playlist for Life will be working with Dementia UK to support and develop the knowledge of their Admiral Nurses around the therapeutic use of music in dementia care.
Dementia UK is the specialist dementia nurse charity. Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurses provide life-changing support for families affected by all forms of dementia. As dementia specialists, Admiral Nurses help families manage complex needs – considering the person living with dementia and the people around them – and can advise other healthcare professionals too.
By supplying our Introduction to Playlists training course to Admiral Nurses, the collaboration aims to complement the vital support delivered by Admiral Nurses to people living with dementia and their families in the community and in healthcare settings. As a result of our training, more Admiral Nurses will be able to support families to access this effective intervention.
Playlist for Life’s training is based on more than two decades of research showing that personal music – the specific songs that spark emotions and memories for someone – can help people living with dementia by alleviating stress, managing symptoms and strengthening relationships with family members and carers.
In September 2019, the World Health Organisation undertook a major study investigating the evidence for the health benefits of the arts. A section on dementia found evidence of multiple specific benefits of music including: reduced anxiety and depression; supported cognition, speech, and memory; reduced need for antipsychotic drugs, and fewer and shorter stays in hospital.
A playlist consisting of familiar songs from a person’s childhood through their wedding day and beyond has been shown to improve the wellbeing of those who listen to them as well as giving families and carers a tool to help connect with those they love and support.
In addition, the benefits for people with dementia in health and care settings can be remarkable, with one care home in Glasgow reporting a 60% reduction in the use of medication for treating anxiety in people living with dementia.
Michelle Armstrong-Surgenor, Executive Director at Playlist for Life, said:
We are thrilled to work with Dementia UK to increase understanding of how to use personally meaningful music as part of essential and life-changing support to families affected by dementia.
Music that is meaningful to a person living with dementia can be a lifeline, helping families, carers and healthcare professionals to connect through the soundtrack of a person’s life. These personalised playlists benefit both the person living with dementia and the one caring for them by strengthening relationships, easing distress, and promoting person-centred care. We have trained over 7,000 health and social care professionals on the power of playlists and look forward to working with Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurses to further support those living with dementia and raise awareness of the therapeutic use of music more broadly.
Caroline Scates, Head of Professional and Practice Development at Dementia UK, said:
Music is increasingly being used to help people living with dementia connect to past experiences and tap into powerful emotions. It is fantastic to highlight the wider benefits of the therapeutic use of music in dementia by sharing Playlist for Life materials with Admiral Nurses.