Think of the songs that gives you that ‘flashback feeling’ whenever you hear them; that take you back, to another time, person or place. Together, this music creates the soundtrack of your life.
Music can be a lifeline for someone living with dementia. It can increase connection with loved ones, elevate mood and decrease isolation. Research has found that 90% of people living with dementia who listened to a personalised playlist reacted positively, unlocking memories that were thought to be lost.
We’re sharing our top tips on how to find the right music, build a personalised playlist, and when to listen to get the best effect.
When to listen
Listening and enjoying being together, responding to the music, is one of the loveliest parts of having a playlist! It’s a great way to spend a visit with a loved one.
Living with dementia isn’t easy, so don’t be afraid to use the playlist as a chance to take a breather. Make sure you are settled comfortably, put the music on, and have a cup of tea while you both take some time out.
Research shows that listening to your playlist half an hour before something difficult – like bathtime, getting dressed, or in the evening – can make things easier.
How to listen
Test the songs you have added to your playlist by finding a quiet time to sit with your loved one to listen to the tunes together. Make sure you look for subtle positive signs like toe or finger-tapping, in addition to smiles or positive vocal reactions.
On the go
Remember to take your playlist with you when you’re leaving the house, as you never know when you’ll need it.
Help getting started
Our fully trained Helpline team can help you with tracking down personally meaningful music and give advice on making and listening to a playlist. Book a call here.
How do I get started?
Our website has lots of free resources to help you at every stage of your playlist journey, whether you’re exploring your own playlist or making one for someone else. Visit our Resources page to find out more.