Learn how music connects people with dementia to past

by Deb Bartlett

It’s hard to believe that our last webinar of 2019 takes place next week. On Wednesday, Dec. 11, Sarah Metcalfe will present on Playlist for Life. Playlist for Life is a charity in the U.K. that believes that everyone with dementia should have a unique, personal playlist, and that everyone who loves or cares for them should know how to use it. (I so love this page on their website that I just linked to it – not even going to try to explain it).

Followers of this blog space know that music for dementia is important to Room 217; it’s why we developed and created the Pathways Singing Program. Research into why music works for dementia continues, and Playlist for Life keeps abreast of the research. As Playlist for Life points out, music therapy is among the interventions show to reduce behavioural symptoms, specifically aggressive behaviour and agitation.

Playlist for Life’s practice is based on the Gerdner Protocol 5th Edition, and recommends listening to music 30 minutes before difficult times or activities.

A playlist is a collection of songs or music. Each of our playlists for life is unique – just like us. It will contain different songs and types of music from different times in our life. They will remind us of people, hobbies, vacations, challenges, heartbreak, and happiness. Sarah Metcalfe, Chief Executive of Playlist for Life talks about the organization’s history and purpose in this YouTube video.

Playlist for Life encourages and trains carers to create and use playlists for the people they are supporting with dementia. The charity has also created the 100 Years: A Century of Song book. It lists the top 100 songs in the U.K. for 100 years.  

Sarah Metcalfe will present the webinar Dec. 11 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. ET Dec. 11. You can register here for the free webinar. Want to learn a little about Sarah? Check out her playlist.