Merseyside Dementia Friendly Radio is using music to support local people who are living with the condition.
An estimated 18,000 people in Merseyside are living with dementia.
Used as an umbrella term to describe a range of conditions impacting the brain, dementia stops brain cells from working and can affect a person’s ability to remember, think and speak.
Living with dementia, especially when living alone, can often be a lonely, confusing and ultimately frightening experience.
However, studies have shown that music can have amazing effects on dementia. Both physically and psychologically, music trigger positive feelings and connect with others.
According to Dementia UK: “Music can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure, relieve muscle tension and help people manage pain.
“It can also trigger feel-good hormones called endorphins, which may ease depression, anxiety and agitation.”
Dementia can affect people in different ways
Following dementia diagnoses in his family, Nat Gavin was inspired to set up Merseyside Dementia Friendly Radio. The station is a 24/7 broadcast, carefully curated for people living with dementia.
“Our focus is for it to be dementia friendly, which is usually people’s first question – what makes it dementia friendly? To understand that, you first have to have some understanding of dementia itself.”
“Dementia can affect people in different ways, it can affect perception, so they can experience audio hallucinations, they can find it very difficult to concentrate.”
“So, part of what makes us dementia friendly is we try and make everything as high quality as possible, audio-wise. We try and keep any talking elements as clear as possible…Everything is simplified, it’s more about simplifying radio rather than adding a lot to it.”
Listen to the full interview here:
Audio report: Lucy Burns
To listen to Merseyside Dementia Friendly Radio, head to their website here.
To find out more, head to their Twitter here.