I have enjoyed supporting the co-production process of designing and developing Unforgettable’s new Music Player & Digital Radio. People living with dementia and family carers were involved in contributing their ideas, feedback and insights, from the inception of the concept through to the final design and manufacture.
We’ve reached a truly exciting point now that we have the radio/music player in stock and available for purchase. It’s wonderful to have witnessed this project from the beginning, and we are eager, now, to hear from customers about how the radio/music player is improving the lived experience of dementia.
I think the Unforgettable Music Player & Digital Radio is a great product!
There is robust evidence that demonstrates the power of music for people living with dementia. Indeed, music is important in everyone’s life, it has wide reaching benefits and adds quality to our experience of everyday life.
Life stories are enhanced by music. We can all recall special songs linked to significant times in our lives, music evoking memories of happy family times and sad family times, holidays, weddings, funerals, instrumental pieces that remind us of notable events in history, TV theme tunes, favourite hymns, Christmas carols, nursery rhymes, lullabies. Music annotates our lives in deeply meaningful ways.
For people living with dementia, creating meaning from music is a key way to encourage connection and communication. Music can elicit emotional responses without the use of language: eye contact, gestures, facial expressions, touch, help to strengthen relationships and enable people with dementia to communicate their feelings.
It’s our belief that the design of Unforgettable Music Player & Digital Radio will help to remove barriers to accessing music that people with dementia might experience. The controls have been constructed to be easily understood: louder/quieter for the volume control and simple ‘next’ and ‘back’ buttons to move to different tracks and to change radio stations.
The radio feature of this new product adds to its versatility. Listening to radio broadcasts is a part of our everyday routine. The Unforgettable Music Player & Digital Radio enables the pre-setting of up to five radio stations. (Most people listen regularly to two or three radio stations at the most).
To switch between the music playing function and the radio function is straight-forward, with the use of clearly marked coloured buttons. This intuitive functionality makes it possible for people with dementia to continue to listen to favourite programmes, helping to sustain life quality and continuity.
The Unforgettable music player & digital radio is supplied with a free USB stick to enable the creation of a personal playlist. We encourage family members and carers to be ‘music detectives’ talking to their relative about happy times and sad times, celebrations, significant life events and memorable occasions, to inform the gathering of sound tracks that prompt memories and meaningful reminiscence.
As well as favourite songs and tunes, playlists can include downloads of other audio material that holds meaning for the person with dementia, for example, soundtracks of sporting achievements (World Cup 1966, Roger Banister running 4-minute mile) broadcasts of historic events (moon landing, royal weddings and funerals), iconic speeches (Martin Luther, Winston Churchill) news reports, sounds from nature, the noise of a steam train. A person’s playlist is the soundtrack of their life, in all its variety.
The Unforgettable Music Player & Digital Radio is produced to a high digital specification. The sound quality is excellent, and the device is aesthetically attractive. It looks like a regular radio. There is no stigma associated with having this product in your home.
Most impressive of all, the Unforgettable Music Player & Digital Radio has some unique features: ‘tumble-buttons’ which allow the device to be adapted and simplified, as the person with dementia’s capabilities change over time. Suitable for people with early dementia and for people whose dementia is advancing, for people with visual impairments, manual dexterity difficulties, for people who struggle with the complex tuning functions of many modern radios, people who do not use the internet and have stopped listening to music because it has just become too difficult. The Unforgettable Music Player & Digital Radio is portable and can be operated with batteries or via a mains power supply. It has a port for headphones, so can be listened to privately, or out loud in a family/group setting. It’s is a perfect Christmas gift.
Let us know what you think! Please send us feedback and pictures, we are keen to know if the music player/radio meets your expectations and whether its special features really do make the difference to people’s lives in the way that we anticipate they will. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org