Creativity in Dementia Care – Music Therapy
Our two-year running (2013 & 2014) National Dementia Award winning care home, Carlingwark House, has undertaken an exciting project which has seen the team, led by award-winning (Scottish Care Carer of the Year) Team Leader Kelly Henderson, create musical playlists of the important songs in the lives of the people we support. Through life-story research, the home have created MP3 playlists that are, in essence, the soundtracks to the people they support’s lives – their first dance at their wedding, favourite songs they’d sing to their children, their favourite performers.
These person-centred playlists have delivered incredible results, helping people reconnect with lost memories and regain their sense of self. The impact of the playlists has been remarkable – people who were withdrawn become animated; people who often don’t speak, start to sing or talk about the songs; a sense of wellbeing and joy stays with them for hours.
But equally, the playlists have benefitted the staff that have created and delivered them. They have developed a stronger sense of the generation that the people the support come from, have a deeper understanding of the important events of their lives, and have found shared interests by learning to love the same songs as their residents. This has inspired better conversations and more person-centred relationships.
Kelly Henderson and Cath Murray-Howard talk us through the use of Music Therapy in Dementia Care…