Through careful focus group research and feed back the music has been curated to provide an instant source of meaningful and appropriate music at any time of the day or night. The group of five radio stations (m4dradio.com) is designed to follow the rhythm of the day from waking to bedtime and right through the night.
Listeners can tune into the mix station or one of four further stations playing music by decade from the 1930s to the 1970s. The mix station is specifically designed for care homes, providing a mix from across the decades, suitable for larger groups to enjoy listening to together.
The stations are available via any internet-enabled device including computers, tablets, mobile phones, smart TVs and Alexas. Included in the varied programme content are sessions of music to move to, music from musicals, soothing tracks for sundowning and night-time and featured artists.
M4d Radio is non-commercial and does not contain advertisements, avoiding distraction or confusion for people with mid- to late stages of dementia. Similarly, the talking sections of each programme are kept to a minimum.
The launch is supported by Lauren Laverne, Music for Dementia’s ambassador, who has recorded a welcome for listeners. She and fellow celebrities have also pledged to highlight m4d Radio via a social media video campaign #Song4You. They are dedicating a song to for someone close to them who is isolating in lockdown, to be played on the station in the coming weeks.
Lauren Laverne says:
“We all instinctively know how music can help connect us to others, but for people living with dementia music provides a lifeline. When words fail, music has the power to reach people emotionally and in many cases trigger memories. M4d Radio is a vital resource that aims to stop those living with dementia feeling isolated, especially during these unprecedented times and this is a simple way that everyone can help. We’d love to see as many people as possible getting involved in the #Song4You challenge, help build the m4d Radio playlist and crucially, help improve the wellbeing of so many who are affected by this awful disease.”
Music for Dementia Programme Director, Grace Meadows, says:
“We know that music enriches the lives of people living with dementia and during lockdown the benefits of music for everyone have become even more felt. Providing a choice of era-specific radio stations to cater for different age groups means carers can get to know the music that resonates with those they care for, enhancing their quality of life. It’s also an aid for carers wanting to create a mood lift without having to break off from their tasks to search for appropriate music. “m4d Radio amplifies Music for Dementia’s aim of making music freely available to everyone living with dementia and we hope that it will become a station of choice for many care settings”
Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, commented:
“Music is vital to our well-being and this is particularly true for people living with dementia and their carers, and this fantastic new initiative will ensure that they have access to the benefits of music whenever they need it.“
The station content is being continually developed to provide the best combination of music for its listeners. Music for Dementia is keen to hear from anyone interested in helping to shape this further. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to provide feedback or request to join a regular focus group.
Helen Foster, Director of Operations at Alzheimer’s Society says:
“Music can have a really positive effect on people with dementia: from our Singing for the Brain sessions we know many people with dementia enjoy music and there’s also evidence that it can prompt memories, improve mood and help maintain a sense of personal identity. A survey conducted by Alzheimer’s Society of around 880 people living with and caring for someone with dementia revealed that over three quarters said the pandemic has made them feel more lonely or isolated than before. M4d Radio will hopefully help connect people with dementia and carers across the UK and make those affected by dementia feel less isolated.”
Colin Lyne, 62, who lives with vascular dementia and is a member of Stockport EDUCATE * said:
“As I listened to m4d Radio it took me back to when I was at school in the late sixties and early seventies which I thought was great. It gave me a warm fuzzy feeling and I could even picture walking through a school corridor to join a classroom full of mates. I used to play the trombone in a local wind band and I listen to music all the time but m4d Radio plays tunes I haven’t heard for years, not necessarily just the number one hits of an era.”