University of the West of Scotland

Supporting people with dementia

The Dementia Champions programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by the University of West of Scotland. Helen Skinner, who completed the course, is an example of a Dementia Champion who is dramatically improving the lives of people with dementia.

Helen knew from her experience that people with dementia can feel stressed in unfamiliar surroundings, particularly in hospital, and are sometimes given medication to calm themselves down.  She wanted to alleviate the stress and agitation of one of her patients  – who also had poor communication due to oesophageal cancer – without drugs.

After research, Helen implemented personalised music within the ward to support the patient and his family by creating a playlist for him. His reaction was hugely positive - he sang along, smiling and tapping his hands to the music.

Helen’s Playlist for Life is now used in wards across NHS Fife.

Further reading