Ideas on using music to prompt conversations and memories for someone with dementia

HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
6,989
0
London
Do you have any tips about music and memories that could be shared in the next issue of Dementia together magazine?

Our latest issue shares musical ideas to prompt conversation and memories for a person with dementia. These include making playlists, trying music games, playing instruments and singing along to karaoke or musicals.

Do you have any tips about music and memories that could be featured in the next issue? Share your ideas (and any pictures!) below by 4 November, or email them to magazine@alzheimers.org.uk

Thanks everyone :)
 

PatRayH

Registered User
Aug 16, 2021
110
0
Although my mum probably saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a number of times in her life, last christmas she suddenly stopped talking while watching the film and said ' oh thats the most beautiful song I have ever heard ' and she seemed mesmerised by it. That song was Hushabye Mountain......

...
A gentle breeze from Hushabye Mountain
Softly blows o'er Lullaby Bay
It fills the sails of boats that are waiting
Waiting to sail your worries away
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
2,214
0
High Peak
My tip would be: don't forget advertising jingles! One time at mum's care home, the activities lady did a (casual) quiz where she played a tape of lots of old jingles, but stopping just before the product name was mentioned, then the residents had to sing the punchline. This went down very well - you hear those things so many times that they stick in your head forever...
 

HarryO52

New member
Sep 12, 2021
3
0
Music is a powerful medium, my wife is in care, i arranged for the pipe band I play for to go to the home and play for the residents, I watched as we played the residents hands clapping and feet tapping, seeing that was priceless, and the residents enjoyed their day, the care home laid on teas and drinks and made great effort to make sure everyone had a good time . As for my wife’s reaction she was laughing and the years just seemed to disappear
4EC1E486-2E62-42AF-8DC8-254DC8EE120C.jpeg
4EC1E486-2E62-42AF-8DC8-254DC8EE120C.jpeg
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
65,453
0
70
Dundee
Music played a very big part in my husband Bill’s life during his years living with dementia.

The most useful resource I used was the website Playlist for Life. The personal playlist was created with much thought and care and the individual pieces of music sparked lots of emotions and a real connection between us. I used a splitter so that two sets of headphones could be linked to the iPod and we both listened to the music at the same time. This meant we could share the joy of the music but I could also talk to him about the memories.

We were both also members of our dementia choir. Bill’s eye’s lit up when we sang the songs and he was able to join in singing them until the week before he died. I’m still secretary of the choir and I I have seen the difference it has made to so many people.
 

Tennyson

Registered User
Mar 17, 2017
1
0
Our mom is 95 she has always enjoyed religion/mass/hymns since lockdown when mass was broadcast, we found a Canadian dailyTV mass on youtube which has subtitles of the mass and hymns, this has our mom singing, praying and reading the subtitles out-loud. Mom's dementia is a slow progression but we are sure that the daily time spent watching the mass and taking part is helping to keep her mind active
 

Toppo

Registered User
Sep 12, 2018
22
0
Do you have any tips about music and memories that could be shared in the next issue of Dementia together magazine?

Our latest issue shares musical ideas to prompt conversation and memories for a person with dementia. These include making playlists, trying music games, playing instruments and singing along to karaoke or musicals.

Do you have any tips about music and memories that could be featured in the next issue? Share your ideas (and any pictures!) below by 4 November, or email them to magazine@alzheimers.org.uk

Thanks everyone :)
My husband is a musician first and foremost - before being a husband or father etc. At 88 he still plays almost daily and music can calm him. However, he is not so discerning as he was and only certain types of music draw him in. I use Alexa and Your tube as well as music options like Spotify to add variety to our day. Image was when he was 85 and did a session with Students at Trinity College of music.
 

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bigmo

New member
Aug 4, 2021
6
0
My husband, now with dementia, formerly sang for many years in a cathedral choir. It's wonderful how putting on an LP from a collection of recordings immediately calms his periods of anxiety and frustration. LPs also have the advantage of his being able to play them on the turntable by himself: he is dependent on others to play the digital varieties!
 

Just jules 172

New member
May 24, 2020
1
0
London
Dad and I are still caring for Mum at home and I have set up some Alexa dot or Show devices in the front room and her bedroom. I can then programme different playlist or there random selection of songs depending on mood or need. Disco when I need her to be more active and alert, or her choir choir recordings when she needs to be less anxious or anything in between. As I can control it from my phone I can navigate the music as she goes to different rooms.
Music in the background when she has visitors keeps her awake longer as she will sing along between conversations.
 

Dunroamin

Registered User
May 5, 2019
147
0
UK
i have just come through a foggy patch and yesterday played some of my music. My heart soared and life feels on more of an even keel today.

Please don't think all of us like 'oldies' or classical music. Heavy metal and trance etc are to my taste. I also have one particular David Gilmore track that takes me to a good place. Would love to meet him and thank him for the joy
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,890
0
My mum loves musical theatre and something like All that Jazz from Chicago would have her up and dancing until recently. My husband and I danced it for her birthday and she and all the staff in her care home loved it.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
65,453
0
70
Dundee
For any Scottish members - you might find this website helpful. If you have a couple of minutes to watch the video you will see the Dementia Choir I’m involved with - we’re the ones with the black tops with the red logo. I talk for about 2 seconds about emotions and music! 😂

 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
65,453
0
70
Dundee

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
916
0
There is also a gentleman called Ignar Rip who is an advocate for muisc therapy in dementia. He recommends personalised playlists to be used during activities like getting up and personal care.