Music for Dementia

In June this year, The Music for Dementia campaign launched M4D Radio – a free internet radio station created for people living with dementia and their Carers. The channel is available all day every day and plays music that has been purposefully selected to provide an instant source of meaningful music from the 1930s to the 1970s.

The goal of M4D Radio is to reach out to those living with dementia and help them to connect through music. In turn, it also helps the elderly connect with their Carers, by creating a sense of community around the music. Within the first month of airing, 30,000 listeners tuned in to the channel, which is proof that it is certainly needed and appreciated.

Grace Meadows, The Music for Dementia Programme Director said: “We know that music enriches the lives of people living with dementia and during lockdown, the benefits of music for everyone have become even more felt. Providing a choice of era-specific stations to cater to different age groups, means the music on m4d radio has more resonance to enhance the quality of life”.

Here are some reasons why music is so beneficial to people living with dementia:

Emotions and memories – By connecting music with daily activities, people can develop a routine that helps them to recall the memory of a specific activity.

Listening and dancing – Provided individuals are ambulatory, music most often encourages dancing. Dancing in turn can encourage and help mobility.

Aptitude and appreciation – Linda Maguire, who conducted a study on the benefits of music for dementia patients, said that “musical aptitude and music appreciation are two of the last remaining abilities in patients with Alzheimer’s”. Long after a person has lost their other abilities, these two still remain. And so, music is a wonderful and effective way to reach beyond the disease and connect with the person.

Mood and stress – Many studies have proven that when used appropriately, music can have ability to improve moods.

Music is undoubtedly a powerful tool that connects most people, regardless of their age. However, we recommend The Music for Dementia Programme for a variety of ages to help relive special memories when listening to their favourite songs. We urge our clients and Carers to make use of this wonderful facility. M4D Radio is available via any internet-enabled device including computers, tablets, mobile phones, smart TVs, and Alexa. For further information on how to listen, visit, Enjoy!