Song Task Association in dementia care, a preliminary study.

We have completed our initial research using Memory Tracks in two care homes in north Wales. The study identified a positive impact on both care home residents and staff from using the Memory Tracks app for Song Task Association. We have produced a research report that  summarises our findings. Click here to download the report.

Our research team currently includes Mark Brill (UCA), Dr Stuart Cunningham (Wrexham Glyndwr Univeristy and MMU), Dr J. Harry Whalley (UCA), Rebecca Read (Wrexham Glyndwr Univeristy) Sarah Edwards (Pendine Park Care Organisation) and Gordon Anderson (Memory Tracks).

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Music builds long-term associative memories, often closely tied to emotions which can be more resilient to loss than other types of memory (Cuddy, Sikka & Vanstone, 2015). Memory Tracks, a care platform can provides a personalised selection of music tailored to the routine of an individual living with Dementia, their family and carers needs.  The individualisation of music can also reduce the frequency of agitation in certain settings (Gerdner, 2000).

The core element of the platform is a tablet or smartphone app (fig. 2) that connects daily events to the patient’s choice of reminiscence music. In the initial development these triggers are activated by their carer or by the user. For example, getting dressed, taking medicine, eating and exercising. These actions are managed using the Memory Tracks app prototype v1.

Further development of Memory Tracks will utilise behavioural or physical triggers and sensors to create a contextual, more immersive user experience. The framework is that of song, association and task being nested together with the robust emotional association providing the ‘glue’ between song and task.

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