The HOPE Foundation of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow has awarded music and dementia charity Playlist for Life a grant of £3,000. The grant will be used to enhance Playlist for Life’s online training for healthcare and social care professionals working in the field of dementia care.
Playlist for Life’s training is based on more than two decades of research showing that ‘personal music’ – the specific tunes attached to someone’s emotions that can spark memories – can help those 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 including: reducing anxiety and depression; supporting cognition, speech, and memory; reducing the 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.
Playlist for Life was established in 2013 by writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson after the death of her mother, who lived with dementia. Since then, Playlist for Life has trained over 8,000 healthcare and social care professionals and has seen its training used as a non-pharmacological intervention by care homes, NHS wards and dementia care professionals throughout the UK. In 2021 the charity launched a free online training programme for all UK Higher Education Institutions, giving healthcare and social care students the opportunity to access to a person-centred approach to dementia care that can be used in their future careers.
The HOPE Foundation is a fund of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow through which Fellows and Members can change the lives of people and communities for the better through support for initiatives that improve access to healthcare for the most disadvantaged.
Nick Balneaves, Head of Digital and Development at Playlist for Life, said:
“We are grateful to the HOPE foundation for this grant, which will take our training for health and social care professionals to the next level by allowing us to create a new video showcasing real-life examples of personalised playlists used in care settings.”
“Personalised playlists benefit not only the person living with dementia, but those who care for them. In cases where playlists have been embedded into residents’ and patients’ care plans, we’ve seen reductions in medication, increased job satisfaction, strengthened relationships and happier working environments. Our vision is for playlists to become part of dementia care in every health and social care setting, and our online training is one way we plan to achieve this mission.”