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Music for My Mind is an innovative start-up charity aiming to improve the well-being of people living with dementia and their families by creating, and making widely available, personalised music. There are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK alone and 50 million worldwide. We want to enable universal adoption of personalised music as an affordable therapy for people living with dementia and others affected by it (family, friends and carers).
Using music to access memories for people living with dementia is not a new idea; music therapists have recognised its benefits for many years. Using technology to select and deliver favourite music is new and research is essential to provide the evidence needed to make this treatment a standard therapy in care homes throughout the UK and beyond.
To work towards that, a key objective for us in 2019 is to develop a cost-effective and user- friendly technological solution to enable the rapid creation and delivery of personalised playlists for people with dementia, in any care setting. We are working with leaders in music recommendation services and technology developers, to create an App that will allow rapid creation of a personalised playlist for someone living with dementia, based on their background and musical tastes from their youth (no mean feat when they are no longer able just to tell us what they like). Creating personalised playlists is currently too expensive and time-consuming for music to be adopted widely as a therapy in health and care settings. So our aim is to enable that playlist creation in under an hour. Technological solutions are the only way to automate as much of this process as possible.
One of the purposes of the App is to enable research into the positive effects of music, on a much larger scale than is currently possible. This will allow for an evidence base to be built through research, which will in turn support the case for adopting this approach as standard of care for people living with dementia.
There is growing evidence that music, particularly personalised music, can be calming and/or stimulating for people living with dementia. Personalised music can recreate the ‘common ground’ stolen from their relationships, improving their quality of life and that of their family, friends and carers, improving their care and enhancing their relationships.
Bringing personalised music that evokes fond memories to people living with dementia benefits both their wellbeing and that of the people around them – family members and/or carers. For Example:
We’d like to thank everyone who supported our start-up campaign since its launch in early 2018. With your help we’ve recruited a small, high quality team and made a good start on our technology development and research programmes. We have built strong relationships with care home providers, music recommendation leaders and technology developers and the time is now right to make progress on development of the first version of the new App; an essential stepping stone to achieving our vision.
We have, therefore, increased our crowd-funding target to £110,000 to enable us to pay for the App to be built (which we estimate will cost around £19,000). All the funds raised through this site from 21 st March 2019 will be used to support development of the App. Gift Aid reclaimed on those donations and any funding received in excess of the total needed to produce the App, will be used to help all of Music for My Mind’s work.