GPs take pioneering step of prescribing Playlist for Life for residents living with dementia

Residents at Lillyburn Care Home in Glasgow have personal playlists officially incorporated in to medical care.

29 Sep 2017 

GPs for Lillyburn have taken the official step of prescribing Playlist for Life after witnessing the positive effects of personally meaningful music* on residents with dementia and a reduced need for medication. In one instance, following the introduction of their music, a resident who had been prescribed daily doses of a drug to manage distress was able to come off the drug completely after three weeks.

As with many care homes, music was already a part of daily life at Lillyburn when the home undertook Playlist for Life's training for care professionals. Richard Wilson, Team Leader of the Kintyre dementia unit soon realised the special effect personal playlists were having. He told us how "certain types of music had a soothing effect on individuals displaying distressed behaviour.  Discovering Playlist led us to further enhance the lives of our residents and their loved ones too, facilitating lost connections."

Mr Wilson shared his observations with staff and GPs from Regent Gardens Medical Centre and Playlist for Life was discussed as a potential prescribed intervention by Home Manager Clare Selbie and the team. Selbie told us "the home staff were very keen to have this as a recognized intervention by medical staff.  The GPs were very positive and having seen the benefit in the residents for themselves, they were happy to prescribe Playlist for Life as an intervention".

The GPs were keen to back Playlist for Life with Dr McRoberts declaring it a "fantastic concept with potential to greatly improve patient care" and Dr Janet MacMillan stating "the great potential to improve the quality of life for people with dementia as well as minimising the need for medication and thus reducing problematic side effects from medication."

Lillyburn Care Home is one of three Pacific Care Group establishments, along with Mosswood Care Home and Birdston Day Care Centre, to be awarded Certified Playlist for Life status having demonstrated a commitment to integrating PfL into the daily care of their residents.

*The phrase ‘personally meaningful music’ refers to the songs or tunes that take you back to a time, place or person – music that gives you ‘that flashback feeling’. If you have dementia, this music can help to unlock memories, restore a sense of self and improve mood and relationships

To find out more about our training for care professionals click here