Playlist For Life..
15 April 2019

Speaker at our 15th April club meeting was Sue Eddy, from the Scottish registered charity ‘Playlist for Life’ ( This organisation, which was founded in 2013, wants everyone with dementia to have a unique, personal playlist - all the tunes that are most deeply attached to memories and emotions, gathered together in one place; the soundtrack of a life.

We heard that more than twenty years of scientific research shows that listening to a personal playlist can make living with dementia easier and happier. Caring professionals have commented on the way this music is calming, reduces agitation and helps communication. 

Playlist for Life’s founder, the writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson, discovered this by accident when caring for her mother, Mamie, who had dementia. After Mamie’s death Sally wrote her memoir 'Where Memories Go: why dementia changes everything'. In the course of research for her book, she learned that this power of personal music is a recognised phenomenon, with huge benefits for those with dementia - but also for family and carers.

Sue explained that music from a persons ‘memory bump’ during the ages 15 - 25 years was especially effective and mentioned a book ‘100 years: A Century of Song’ as being helpful in finding the music. It lists the 100 most popular songs for every year from 1915 to 2015. 

Although a Scottish charity, Playlist for Life works in all parts of the UK and aims to have a total of 150 help points set up by next year.

Sue concluded her interesting and impressive illustrated talk by showing film of the remarkable and positive benefits experienced by people with dementia. It was very moving to see the story of Harry and Margaret and the almost magical way in which communication came back. It is not too much to say that lives were uplifted during remaining years.

A heartwarming story and, following questions, club member John O’Neill proposed a warm vote of thanks.  


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