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Playlist for Life Music Dementia CARE Highcliffe care home
Company News, Highcliffe, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear

Music to Billy’s Ears

When Billy, who lives with dementia, was admitted to hospital from Highcliffe Care Home in Sunderland, he found it difficult to understand the need for social distancing, and other precautions that were in place, including staff wearing PPE. The hospital team reported to staff at Highcliffe that Billy had become very distressed, which was totally out of character. After being given a clean bill of health, it was agreed that it would be safer for Billy to return home to continue recovering at Highcliffe.

Staff at the home contacted Avery’s Dementia Team for expert advice and guidance on how best to support Billy during this transition back and during his recovery. Dementia Support Advisor, Heather Perkins knew that Playlist for Life could offer an option to support Billy to feel calmer and less agitated, whilst avoiding powerful mood altering and behaviour modifying drugs, especially in such unprecedented times when staff couldn’t offer the usual comfort to him.

Playlist for Life offered to supply an MP3 player and headset for Billy. Working quickly with Billy’s family over the telephone to identify some of his favourite genres of music, including from his time in a gospel choir, Playlist for Life loaded the MP3 player with music and posted the device to Highcliffe for Billy to use straight away.

Highcliffe Billy listening to music intext

The MP3 player was an amazing success! Although social distancing is still difficult for Billy, he is able to walk safely and calmly through the home listening to his music. Catherine Cliff, from the well-being team at Highcliffe commented, “The song choices were obviously a hit as Billy was beaming and several of the staff commented on his positive reaction, as it really seemed to focus him. We also use an Alexa on our memory care unit but the personal MP3 device really put Billy in a happy bubble.”