Abbeyfield and Wesley Housing Association launches ‘Playlist for Life’ initiative to help residents access music that has soundtracked their lives

Abbeyfield and Wesley Housing Association launches ‘Playlist for Life’ initiative to help residents access music that has soundtracked their lives

Abbeyfield and Wesley Housing Association launches ‘Playlist for Life’ initiative to help residents access music that has soundtracked their lives

Abbeyfield and Wesley Housing Association will be providing its residents across Northern Ireland the opportunity to create their own individual ‘Playlist for Life’ over the coming months.

Sally Campton, Volunteer and Community Outreach Manager for Abbeyfield and Wesley Housing Association, has recently become the first person in Northern Ireland to become a registered Playlist for Life trainer. Playlist for Life is a UK music and dementia charity and Sally will be using her new skills to help residents access music that has soundtracked their lives.

Sally explains how the Playlist for Life initiative will benefit residents:

“Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association plays an important role in local society by providing a range of high-quality accommodation and services to older people throughout Northern Ireland, from purpose-built apartments right through to bungalows and flats offering independent living for active elderly and supported sheltered houses for those requiring additional support while maintaining independence and residential care.

“The Playlist for Life initiative has really opened my eyes to the power of music to reach all people but in particular those with dementia.  It can alter mood and have a very calming effect.  Personal meaningful music can bring back feelings, memories and sometimes even abilities thought lost. It can also strengthen relationships, reconnect families and used as a therapeutic intervention, it can even help manage some of the symptoms of dementia. A personal playlist makes the power of music available to people wherever and whenever they need it.”

Mrs Campton adds: “Playlist for Life is now going to be a regular part of the way Abbeyfield and Wesley supports our residents, in particular those living with dementia, and their families.  Residents and family members have already provided very positive feedback on the initiative and have enjoyed getting involved in creating the unique and personal playlists.”

Claire Davies and Karen Mudge, daughters of Palmerston Care Home resident Muriel Jones, were part of the first relatives’ group to receive Playlist training.  Karen Mudge says

“Mum is sometimes quite agitated, but her music helps soothe her. And on days when she is not so engaged and non-verbal, her music lifts her. You can see her smile and there’s a thoughtfulness – you can see it must be connecting with some particular memory.

Claire Davies adds: “If mum can’t verbalise, she can still sing the words of a song or a favourite hymn. You can reach her with music. It’s like you find mum again for that moment, which is just lovely for us too.”

Sally Campton has already provided Playlist for Life training to 14 staff and 7 relatives of residents at Palmerston Residential Care Home in East Belfast, which is owned and managed by Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association. The charity will also be hosting special musical teas across all of its houses in Northern Ireland in the run up to and during BBC Music Day on Thursday 26 September 2019.

Congratulating Sally Campton, Mrs Geraldine Gilpin, Chief Executive of Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association, comments:

“Sally has been working diligently for many years to increase understanding and awareness of dementia.  She has been heavily involved with our award-winning Palmerston Magical Memory Garden in East Belfast and has delivered an extensive range of dementia awareness training to individuals, community groups, organisations and churches. She is also a volunteer and Dementia Friendly Communities Champion with the Alzheimer’s’ Society.

“Last year Sally won a prestigious Alzheimer’s Society People Awards 2018.  The judging panel selected Sally as the overall UK winner in the Aiming High category. The outreach that Sally undertakes is extremely important as the number of people living with dementia is consistently rising.  The new Playlist for Life initiative will no doubt further enhance the quality of life for those in our care.”

There are two Abbeyfield societies in Northern Ireland, and both are charities. Abbeyfield Belfast Society operates seven supported sheltered houses in South and East Belfast.

Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association manages 18 supported, sheltered houses in Ballycastle, Ballyclare, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Bangor, Carrickfergus, Donaghadee, Downpatrick, Greenisland, Holywood, Lurgan, Newtownabbey and Portstewart. In addition, the charity also runs Palmerston residential dementia care home in East Belfast and three sheltered schemes in Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey and Belfast.

For further information on Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association please check out 

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