Did you know that Playlist for Life works with almost 2,000 community groups and organisations supporting people living with dementia around the UK?
Our ‘Help Point Spotlight’ feature shines a light on some of the amazing groups who are helping people living with dementia to discover the power of personalised playlists as part of their support services.
Mick Harris, Senior Library Manager, Buckinghamshire Libraries shares how Aylesbury Library joined the Help Point network as part of plans to make the library more dementia-friendly.
Over to Mick…
Using music in libraries to help people living with dementia connect with their community
We joined Playlist for Life’s Help Point network in May 2021 and recruited a volunteer to help promote the Help Point within the library. We attended the online Help Point training and our staff also attended a Dementia Friends session.
In August, we ran our first monthly Tuesday Tunes Club to promote Playlist for Life and share information, advice and guidance for anyone living with dementia, their family or carers. It’s taken a few months to grow the group from small numbers initially, but with a little persistence and help from our staff, volunteers, Aylesbury Town Council and Dementia Friendly Aylesbury, we’re now providing a fun and rewarding well-being session for those affected by dementia in our community.
Mick Harris and Carol Johnson
Tuesday 1st March saw an extremely busy morning, as we opened our doors to host both our weekly Bounce and Rhyme session for babies and toddlers and our monthly Tuesday Tunes Club. The Tuesday Tunes session was well attended with 21 people joining our volunteers Bee, Teri and our own Carol and we were treated to renditions of Que Sera Sera, Can’t Help Falling in Love and Pickin’ a Chicken!
One of the concerns raised when we first started Tuesday Tunes was the potential clash with Bounce and Rhyme, and the level of noise within the library. I believed then, and still do today, that a little noise, disruption and chaos never really hurt anyone and I was convinced that the benefits of the old and young sharing a space far outweighed the efforts in making it happen.
Today was the real payday. The smiles on the faces of the Tuesday Tunes group when they heard and recognised the songs the children were singing was priceless. Golden. The smiles and waves from the children to the other group was also fantastic. The real pleasure came though when some of the Bounce and Rhyme group wandered over when their session finished and joined in on the Tuesday Tunes singing. We were rewarded with a mixture of ages, and the power of communication through music in a safe setting. I’m not sure the last time I heard myself humming along to the Hokey Cokey, but I did today. It was rewarding watching everyone participate in the armchair exercises, the left arm in, left arm out – well, you get the picture.
As with anything we do, sometimes we need time to let the seed grow. From today’s sessions, we have now started conversations about how the two groups can do more together in the coming months. We’ve started planning an extra Tuesday Tunes session in May to reminisce and remember the Queen; her coronation, Silver and Golden jubilees, and any stories people have about her. This coincides nicely with Aylesbury Library’s efforts in supporting Dementia Action Week, and the Jubilee. Both Bounce and Rhyme and Tuesday Tunes continue to gain momentum, and I’m proud that all the team rally around to make it happen.