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
'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
See the Telegraphs press coverage here: