Using personalised music to enhance the well-being of people with dementia
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Using personalised music to enhance the well-being of people with dementia

Dean McShane Mental health senior lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand how music can stimulate various areas of the brain simultaneously

  • To learn how listening to music can reduce symptoms such as agitation in people with dementia

  • To familiarise yourself with the concept of ‘personalised music’ and how it can invoke memories and emotions in people with dementia

Music can stimulate the parts of the brain that regulate the pleasure receptors. Music is also neurologically unique in the way that it stimulates various parts of the brain at once. This suggests that in people with dementia if some parts of the brain are affected music can still reach other parts. Evidence suggests that music can have beneficial effects for people with dementia, such as reduction in agitation. This article gives an overview of the effects of music and music interventions on people with dementia, with a particular focus on personalised music – that is, music adapted to an individual’s personal preference which can invoke memories or emotions that have a positive effect on their well-being. The article outlines the benefits of and barriers to using personalised music as an intervention for people with dementia.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2023.e1637

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@deanmcshane123

Correspondence

d.a.mcshane@ljmu.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

The author is an unpaid volunteer advocate for the UK-based charity Playlist for Life

McShane D (2023) Using personalised music to enhance the well-being of people with dementia. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2023.e1637

Published online: 24 January 2023

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