As a musician and someone who has always appreciated the power that music has on our lives, one of the exciting aspects of our new Bendigo system is the ability to incorporate personalised music to improve the quality of daily living. A consequence of being a carer for my father who had dementia was the development of a toolkit, the “Soundtrack to My Life”, that was designed to identify those pieces of music that were most significant and that could help to reconnect people to their memories. “Soundtrack” subsequently won an innovation award and research by the University of Nottingham said “…using personalised music has promoted communication, knowledge of the Client as a person and caring skills…It reveals that personalised music can be a useful adjunct to person centred care planning and improve quality of life for people with dementia…”
The fully integrated nature of Bendigo, with its inbuilt flexibility and multi-functionality, has enabled us to offer “Soundtrack” to all Bendigo users. By working through the various elements of the toolkit, key musical tracks that are unique in their meaning to the individual, can be drawn together into playlists. These playlists can correspond to particular times of day or activities e.g. night time or relaxation. Alternatively it is possible to play particular tracks or playlists to respond to a situation within the home e.g. music that can calm and soothe at times of stress and anxiety, or stimulating music that can help to raise a mood or get someone out of bed in the morning. These music selections can be accessed via the easy to use remote control that is part of Bendigo or they can be accessed remotely by carers and family members when the need arises.
The integrated use of personalised music is just one of the many features that make Bendigo a truly unique and highly effective way of supporting someone with dementia to live independently at home.
To find out more about “Soundtrack to My Life” and the “My Music Oasis” for carers please visit the musicworks website www.musicworksnet.co.uk
Co-Founder & Director