Playlist for life in Western Isles

Social isolation and loneliness has often found to be a root cause of ill health for many of the people mPower has supported. One such person in the Western Isles lived alone , had poor mobility and although he had carers visiting daily, still felt very isolated and lonely.

The man was referred to an mPower Community Navigator who kept in touch with him by giving a weekly phone call to ensure that he was OK and to find out if there was anything he needed. Through these discussions he indicated that he enjoyed music and he told the Community Navigator of his favourite music.

The Community Navigator introduced him to Playlist for Life. Playlist for Life is a music and dementia charity. Extensive scientific research has shown that listening to a personalised playlist can improve the lives of those living with dementia and listening to music that is personally meaningful has many psychological benefits. Personalised playlists can:

  • reduce anxiety
  • improve mood
  • make difficult tasks more manageable
  • evoke memories that can help families and carers connect

Playlist for Life harnesses the powerful effects of personal music to help anyone who is affected by dementia, their families and carers. Whether it’s the music from a first dance, lullabies from childhood or a theme tune from a favourite TV show, music has the ability to take us back in time and remind us of our past. Sharing songs and memories can help people living with dementia connect with family, friends and carers.

mPower had MP3 players from Playlist for Life and gave one to this man, having already downloaded the man’s favourite Scottish and country dance music artist, Jimmy Shand.

He was very happy with the Playlist and now frequently listens to his favourite music. He finds the MP3 player a bit confusing to work with but he’s supported by his niece and the playlist has helped him to have conversations about his life and has helped him to remember some memories.

mPower also secured an ipad and connectivity for him so that he could explore other areas of interest. In addition mPower referred him to an Occupational Therapist  who have supplied him with a zimmer frame to help him move around. 

All these forms of support were possible as a result of the proactive involvement of the mPower Community Navigator who listened to him describe his needs and made suggestions which addressed his personal situation, showing how person-centered care can really make the difference.