Music that gives you that flashback feeling can be a lifeline if you get dementia. Our founder, the writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson, discovered this by accident when caring for her mother, Mamie, who had dementia.

After Mamie’s death Sally wrote her best-selling memoir Where Memories Go: why dementia changes everything. In the course of her research she learned that this power of personal music is a recognised phenomenon backed up by decades of research but was still not widely shared with families in the UK.

“I would have given anything for someone to say ‘Try this. It’s not a cure but it can help. You can still have moments of happiness and flashes of joy...’ No-one says that very often to families living with dementia.” 

Sally founded Playlist for Life in 2013 to change that by sharing the power of personal playlists – all the tunes that are meaningful to an individual gathered together, often on an mp3 player, to create ‘the soundtrack to their life’. Our vision is that every person with dementia should have access to a unique personal playlist and everyone who loves and cares for them should know how to use it to make living with the condition easier and happier.

Playlist for Life has grown and changed a lot since Sally founded us. We continue to be rooted in the family experience of dementia and have established playlists as a distinct part of the music/ dementia spectrum. We are working with partners large and small to:

  1. Make the power of music and Music Detective skills general knowledge by raising awareness and public education.
  2. Establish a vibrant, grassroots network of trained health and care professionals, care homes, volunteers and community Help Points across the UK.
  3. Identify a clear, accessible, legal route to make and use playlists in every setting.
  4. Secure the resources required to deliver our objectives.