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Radio app for people with dementia

M4d Radio has launched a new app and a listen again function to make it easier for people with dementia to listen to and personalise their music stream.

Internet-based, m4d Radio was developed specifically for people living with dementia and their carers and boasts a devoted following from care homes across the country among its regular listeners.

These include: MHA care homes, Black Swan Care Homes Group, Glenalina Lodge Care Centre in Belfast, Crown Care’s Astley Hall in Daventry, The Troc in Newark and Avon Manor in Worthing, to name a few.

The m4d Radio app (available free from the Apple app store) has a simple interface that enables users to quickly identify which music stream they wish to listen to.

Upon opening the app, listeners are presented with colourful stripes depicting each of the five different era-specific music streams offered by m4d Radio. Selecting an era takes them to a colour coordinated page to start the music and view the name of the song playing together with the relevant album cover. 

Listeners can also request a song and view the schedule for the popular Mix stream. Android app versions are currently being tested with a view to being released later this year.

Breaking new ground for the station is m4d Radio’s unique Listen again function, which features previous programmes and celebrity playlists that can be selected at any time of the day or night. Its simple drag and drop system enables users to choose up to six hour-long programmes to listen to at their leisure. Each programme icon incorporates an (i) symbol which expands to show the list of songs within it.

The programme library currently extends to 18 choices, incorporating different genres, special occasions and artists, with plans to continually extend the selection.

grayscale photo of corded headphones on table

Grace Meadows, Music for Dementia director, said: ‘We know that many care settings use iPads and visiting relatives often use iPhones to play music, and it has always been our intention to create an app for m4d Radio to make finding the station and playing meaningful music even simpler.

‘The new listen again feature offers carers and family members the opportunity to personalise up to six hours of music, providing greater flexibility for when and how to use the power of music to make connections with people living with dementia.

‘For example, we know Irish music is very popular with some of our listeners so we’ve included a playlist selected by Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell called St Patrick’s Day. We’re delighted at how simple the drag and drop system is to use and are confident it will bring many hours of pleasure to our listeners.

‘When we launched m4d Radio last June, we were committed to developing and improving it through working with people with dementia and carers and taking on board their feedback. We are continuing to involve listeners in this process so that our offer truly reflects their preferences and wishes.’

Margaret McKernan, activities co-ordinator at Glenalina Lodge in Belfast, said: ‘Our residents are really enjoying the radio shows. It also encourages them to interact, share and exchange memories and stories. They particularly love the music from the movies.’

Sam Bailey, head of marketing and social media, Black Swan Care Group, said: ‘I think the app will be so hugely beneficial and I think the design looks amazing. This will definitely be something we use on our homes’ iPads and really opens it up for individual listeners through their personal devices.”  

Sally Leadley, Activities Lead at The Troc said: ‘M4d Radio has been invaluable within our home and we have been avid listeners from day one! We’ve used the different eras for themed events such as 1960s and 1940s.

‘Music is one of the best medicines, it helps boost mood, reduce agitation and improve focus. We at The Troc put all of this into practice and m4d Radio is a truly valued part of our effort.’

Photo Credit – Blaz Photo

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