A new radio station based in the northeast of England is focused on providing nostalgic music and entertainment solely for the older listener, including those with dementia and their carers.
Memory Lane Radio (www.memorylaneradio.co.uk) plays music from across the decades, covering the 1950’s to more modern releases. It also offers comedy, interviews with celebrities such as Eamon Holmes, reminiscence (including local history and anecdotal stories), specialist music programmes covering classical, 1960s and 1970s, themes from the movies and TV, news and weather on the hour, and even a fitness instructor to facilitate gentle exercise. While the station will be of particular interest to listeners in the northeast, because of its local content, older people across the UK will benefit from its selection of entertainment.
The website for the radio station says it is ‘tailored to prompt memory recall, calm symptoms of sundowning and challenging behaviour, as well as assist with activity programmes and promote social engagement.’ An interesting feature we came across while reviewing the station was the reading of past momentous headlines, such as the assassination of JFK and the moon landings. These news items are said to help jog memories and recall in a similar way to the well-documented effect of nostalgic music.
The expertise behind the station comes from a small, dedicated team including Paul Wappat, who has experience broadcasting for both the BBC and Smooth Radio. ‘We are a small team of dedicated award-winning industry professionals, with more than 100 years’ experience in the broadcast industry between us!’ said Wappat. ‘We have all the archive material, studio equipment, and plenty of enthusiasm.’
With more than 850,000 people affected by dementia in the UK, reminiscent entertainment is a highly effective tool to help avoid social isolation and to increase engagement, particularly in these challenging times of lockdown and social distancing. The station is very happy for listeners to get in touch – perhaps for a dedication to a loved one, or to suggest a music track you’d like to hear. Contact the studio on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 0191 6031953. In the meantime, tune in and enjoy at www.memorylaneradio.co.uk.