Purple Angel Music _ For Alzheimers Sufferers

A Music project Devon, United Kingdom

Expanding the library and distribution of music tracks which are designed to help alzheimers patients remember important daily tasks.

Project aim

Expanding the library and distribution of music tracks which are designed to help alzheimers patients remember important daily tasks.

About the project

A Devon businessman, singer/songwriter and Dementia Foundation

have come together to create a unique new system for helping people

living with dementia enjoy a good quality of life and independent living.

The idea was created by Torquay based  businessman Ashley Sims and

Norman McNamara, the Founder of the Devon based  Purple Angel

Dementia awareness campaign. Norman explains that  “for  people living

with dementia the progress of the disease can gradually turn off all the

functions of the brain like lightbulbs going out.  However  memories of

music are some  of the deepest and last to be lost “

As populations of developed nations age, so the number of cases of

dementia increases. As a way of helping care for and support people

with dementia, music has been shown to often have a dramatic effect. 

Whether it’s 60s soul, operatic arias or songs from the shows, music

can soothe, stimulate and bring to mind long-forgotten memories..

 According to Age UK Dementia is rapidly becoming the health and

social care challenge of the 21st century. Numbers affected are set

to soar because of an expanding older population. The total

number of people with dementia in the UK is predicted to be in

excess of 1m by 2021. So, while there are no long-term cures, ways

of alleviating symptoms are becoming more available and


The power of music, especially singing, to unlock memories and kick

start the grey matter is an increasingly key feature of dementia care. It

seems to reach parts of the damaged brain in ways other forms of

communication cannot.

'We tend to remain contactable as musical beings on some level right

up to the very end of life,' says Professor Paul Robertson, a concert

violinist and academic who has made a study of music in dementia


'We know that the auditory system of the brain is the first to fully

function at 16 weeks, which means that you are musically receptive

long before anything else. So it’s a case of first in, last out when it

comes to a dementia-type breakdown of memory.'

Now  Purple Angel Music is taking that research and using music not just

to unlock memories but to help those living with dementia remember

daily tasks and  live full and independent lives for as long as possible.

 The concept is simple, but incredibly effective. 

An MP3 player is loaded with specially adapted tunes, reminding people

to  carry out  tasks, such as eating, drinking and washing.


The south west crooner Michael Campari wrote and recorded the special

songs.  Familiar songs such as Love by Nat King Cole, with a new

message reminding the listener that “ It’s time to make a cup of tea” and

many more. Using classic music that unlocks memories, but changing the

words to provide reminders to perform tasks that help prolong

independent living.


See the Telegraphs press coverage here: