Sheffcare playlists provide musical memories for people living with dementia

SHEFFIELD care home chain Sheffcare is using the latest in music therapy to reach out to residents living with dementia.

The organisation which operates a chain of ten care homes across the city has signed up to Playlist for Life, the charity founded by acclaimed writer and TV and radio broadcaster and personality Sally Magnusson after the death of her mother Mamie, who was living with dementia.

Playlist for Life provides a unique, personal playlist for people with dementia and is based on more than 20 years of scientific research shows that listening to a personal playlist can make living with dementia easier and happier.

Sheffcare’s Volunteer Coordinator Kathryn Rawling has signed Sheffcare up to be a Help Point for PlayList for Life, helping Sheffcare’s Activity Workers and volunteers to create playlists for residents.

The Help Point also reaches out to the wider community, meaning anyone can call in or make contact and gain information, advice and a leaflet explaining how to get started.


Ten of the activity workers from Sheffcare care homes have had Play List for life training and volunteer Julian Hade has created a music library that can be used within all the organisation’s 10 homes.

Julian, a German student studying English in his home country, contacted Sheffcare in 2018 requesting the opportunity to come to England and volunteer with the charity for six weeks.

He enjoyed the experience so much he came for the second part of his required student volunteering this summer, again working on the Playlist for Life project.

“Julian has embraced the Playlist for life project and thanks to his work it is now embedded in Sheffcare systems with the resources to make this work for years to come.,” said Kathryn.

“Julian’s love of music has meant he was the perfect person to appreciate the power of music and the value of the concept of making meaningful playlists for people who may be living with dementia in our care homes.

“He continued his good work by gathering information about the music loved by our residents and creating several personalised Playlist for Life for our residents, packaging them in Playlist Kits to maximise their use and flexibility.

“Playlists can be used for residents to feel at peace and in a happy place or shared with family and friends or other residents.

“Sheffcare are proud of this initiative and feel this is a demonstration of Sheffcare’s dedication to the care of the people living in their homes.”

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