People living with dementia will now be able tune into a new radio station designed to boost their mood during lockdown and beyond.
Launched by charity Music for Dementia, the internet radio station is free to listeners and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The group of five radio stations, m4dradio.com, is designed to follow the rhythm of the day from waking to bedtime and through the night.
Listeners can tune into a ‘mix station’, which plays music from across the multiple eras, and four other stations playing music by the decade, from the 1930s to 1970s.
Music for Dementia Programme Director, Grace Meadows, said: “We know that music enriches the lives of people living with dementia and during lockdown the benefits of music for everyone have become even more felt. Providing a choice of era-specific radio stations to cater for different age groups means carers can get to know the music that resonates with those they care for, enhancing their quality of life.
“It’s also an aid for carers wanting to create a mood lift without having to break off from their tasks to search for appropriate music. m4d Radio amplifies Music for Dementia’s aim of making music freely available to everyone living with dementia and we hope that it will become a station of choice for many care settings.”
The stations are available via any internet-enabled device including computers, tablets, mobile phones, smart TVs and Alexas.
M4d Radio is non-commercial and does not contain advertisements, avoiding distraction or confusion for people with mid- to late stages of dementia. Similarly, the talking sections of each programme are kept to a minimum.
The launch is supported by Lauren Laverne, Music for Dementia’s ambassador and BBC radio presenter, who has recorded a welcome for listeners. She and fellow celebrities have also pledged to highlight m4d Radio via a social media video campaign #Song4You.
They are dedicating a song to for someone close to them who is isolating in lockdown, to be played on the station in the coming weeks.
Laverne (pictured) said: “We all instinctively know how music can help connect us to others, but for people living with dementia music provides a lifeline. When words fail, music has the power to reach people emotionally and in many cases trigger memories.
M4d Radio is a vital resource that aims to stop those living with dementia feeling isolated, especially during these unprecedented times and this is a simple way that everyone can help. We’d love to see as many people as possible getting involved in the #Song4You challenge, help build the m4d Radio playlist and crucially, help improve the wellbeing of so many who are affected by this awful disease.”