Music and memory have a powerful connection, everyone remembers songs from their past, first kiss; the song at a wedding.
Music can have many benefits in the setting of dementia. It can help reduce anxiety and depression, help maintain speech and language, enhances quality of life and has a positive impact on carers. Yet research suggests that 80% of people in care homes have dementia or very significant memory problems but only 5% have access to art and music.
According to the NHS there are three main ways in which people with dementia their families and carers can enjoy and benefit from music.
The first, and potentially the most important, is that music provides enjoyment and entertainment, especially when shared with families and loved ones in a shared experience.
Second, there are bespoke playlists for carers and loved ones for people with dementia. There is increasing evidence that musical memory may be different to the kind of day-to-day memories that can be affected in dementia, that retaining memory for music enjoyed between the ages of 10
and 30 is much more enduring. Rekindling these can have a beneficial effect.
Third, there are examples of musicians who suffered from dementia. Country legend Glenn Campbell was able to perform relatively late into his illness. There is evidence from scientific studies that listening to music lights up the brain in many places, reaching the parts that others can't.
Music can change lives. It is one of the reasons why Bolton FM are supporting the Bolton Family Dementia walk taking place this Saturday (28 Sept) at Seddons on Plodder Lane.
To find out more about the walk visit our website boltonfm.com