Lottery investment hits the right note for music charity


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Playlist for Life uses music to help improve the lives of people with dementia.

24th July 2019 by Gavin Stuart0 Comments

Playlist for Life teaches families and care staff how to create a unique personal playlist of the soundtrack to a person’s life.

The charity says this allows others to better understand the life of a person with dementia as well as helping jog memories and trigger social interactions.

Six in ten care homes who have received training from a Playlist for Life worker report a significant reduction in medication for residents with dementia.

These are hosted by existing organisations, such as churches, faith groups, libraries and carers’ centres, based anywhere in the UK. Host organisations are given free training and resources to promote the power of music to help dementia and often provide a helping hand to anyone who gets stuck with technology or finding the right tunes.

Rev Helen Jamieson, Playlist leader of the charity’s first ever community Help Point at St Andrews Church of Scotland in Carluke, Lanarkshire, said: “Playlist for Life has changed my ministry. The training we received opened our eyes to the power of music to reach people with dementia.

“Personal music is now a regular part of the way our church supports people living with the condition and their families. We have incorporated playlists into church services, pastoral visits and even funerals.”

Playlist for Life was founded in 2013 by writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson after the death of her mother Mamie, who had the disease.

She said: “I founded Playlist for Life to share with other families something we had to discover by accident when caring for my mother: personal music helps dementia. My vision was that if every person with dementia has a unique personal playlist and everyone who loves or cares for them knows how to use it, then we can improve the way we connect and care for people living with this illness.

“This award from The National Lottery Community Fund brings that vision closer. We are grateful for their faith in us and excited about the work to come.”