Our journey with music through dementia

March 4, 2021

The  Musical Care Pathway, below, is intended to show you how music fits into our lives and how it can be used to support people through their journey with dementia.

You don’t need to be musical to understand it, nor do you need to make sense of it all the first time you look at it. Our intention is to bring to life the ways music can accompany people on their journey with dementia from living well to end of life care.

Click on the image below to open a PDF version.

Inspired by the NHS Dementia Well Pathway, this creative interpretation shows how music can be woven into care across all phases. The music and activities that each person chooses are unique to them – everyone will follow their own pathway according to their personal life experiences and preferences. Personalising the music to the individual is key.

At the start, there are lots of opportunities for us to have music in our lives, hence the amount of icons on the path – we repeat and add new things all the time.

As we begin our journey with dementia this may continue but soon the pace will slow down. It is more difficult to learn new things, but opportunities should still be there to try new things. We may find it less easy to be a part of things; and may need to find other ways to connect. Things may feel out of tune or the rhythm of life is no longer in time with the beat of dementia. Music can help us express hidden emotions and ease feelings of upset, frustration or sadness.

At the end of life things will be a lot calmer and quieter, but music is no less important. The music that was meaningful to us will live on as our loved ones listen to the soundtrack of our life. This will support people who have been bereaved, too.

Watch our video about the pathway below.

Thank you to everyone that has helped with the production of this Musical Dementia Pathway.

Poem by Grace Meadows

Graphic by Anna Geyer, New Possibilities

The musical composition heard in this video can be found in the graphic. Composition by Anna Geyer, performed by Grace Meadows.

Find out more on these pages:

How music helps

Why music and dementia

Keep the music going

Advice & Resources