Thanks to the Herald Express for this information. You can read the full article here.
A UNIQUE new system for helping people living with dementia enjoy a good quality of life and independent living has been developed by the Purple Angel dementia awareness campaign.
Purple Angel Music is an idea created by Torquay-based businessman Ashley Sims and Norman McNamara, the founder of the Purple Angel movement, to try and help dementia sufferers unlock memories and to remember daily tasks and live full and independent lives for as long as possible.
Norman said: “For people living with dementia the progress of the disease can gradually turn off all the functions of the brain like light bulbs going out. However, memories of music are some of the deepest and last to be lost.”
The concept is simple, but incredibly effective. An MP3 player is loaded with specially adapted tunes, reminding people to carry out tasks, such as eating, drinking and washing.
The idea is based on research by Professor Paul Robertson, a concert violinist and academic who has made a study of music in dementia care.
He said: “We tend to remain contactable as musical beings on some level right up to the very end of life. We know that the auditory system of the brain is the first to fully function at 16 weeks, which means that you are musically receptive long before anything else. So it’s a case of first in, last out when it comes to a dementia-type breakdown of memory.”
Norman added: “South West crooner Michael Campari has written and recorded the special songs, which include familiar songs such as ‘Love’, by Nat King Cole, with a new message reminding the listener that ‘It’s time to make a cup of tea.
Using classic music that unlocks memories, but changing the words to provide reminders to perform tasks that help prolongs independent living.
The power of music, especially singing, to unlock memories and kick start the grey matter is an increasingly key feature of dementia care. It seems to reach parts of the damaged brain in ways other forms of communication cannot.”
The MP3 player is loaded with two 12 hour tracks. The night time track is 12 hours of silence. The daytime track has seven specially recorded tracks of a selected genre which play once every two hours and remind dementia suffers to do everything from eating and drinking, to locking the door and washing.
The product retails at £39.99 with one genre loaded and £10 or each additional genre.