The Benefits of Music for People with DementiaJune 04, 2021
Music has a profound effect on our moods. When an upbeat tune comes on, it can be hard to resist tapping your feet, bobbing your head, or singing along! And just like that, your mood has been elevated.
Music's magical effect doesn't go away when someone develops dementia. In fact, just like other creative arts, music can become even more important in later stages of dementia. It becomes a way to reach someone who may no longer be able to express themselves as easily as they used to.
There are numerous studies about the positive effect of music on older adults with dementia. Music can stimulate the brain, boost your mood, decrease anxiety and support physical health and social interactions.
Consider using music if someone with dementia starts exhibiting challenging behaviors; music is a no-risk, non-pharmacological approach that has promising results with this population. (Please note: “challenging behaviors” are actually communication! If you can figure out the trigger for the behavior, such as discomfort, fear, or anxiety, you’ll get to the root of the behavior. In the right scenario, music can also help calm some of these feelings.) Studies show that live music can be even more beneficial than recorded music.
If you want to try out music with someone with dementia, here are some things to consider:
- What type of music do they like to listen to? Music they enjoyed when they were younger will stay with them through the disease process, since long-term memory remains intact longer. And studies show that people with dementia respond better to familiar music than unfamiliar music. Don’t be surprised if someone who hardly speaks suddenly starts singing all the lyrics to an old favorite song!
- Consider how to play the music so they can hear it best. Are they wearing their hearing aids? Would headphones be easier? Try to reduce other background noises like televisions or radios.
- Watch their expression when you turn on a piece of music. Do they light up with joy? If so, sing and dance along with them! Does it make them sad? Hold their hand or share a hug. Don't be afraid to explore whatever feelings that the music may bring up. This will create a meaningful connection between the two of you.
For more information about using music with people who have dementia, check out Music and Memory, a non-profit that aims to help people with dementia "engage with the world, ease pain, and reclaim their humanity through the use of personalized music." Their website has a number of helpful tips and free resources, including how to create a personalized playlist.
Happy listening!No comments found.
Leave a Comment
Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder: Shedding Light on the Winter Blues
Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder: Shedding Light on the Winter Blues Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the winter blues, is a mood disorder that typically occurs during the winter months when there is less natural sunlight. This condition can have a significant impact on an individual’s mental and emotional well being, affecting everything from […]
November is National Home Care and Hospice Month
True Care Recognizes National Home Care and Hospice Month November is National Home Care and Hospice Month, a time to recognize and appreciate the vital role that home care and hospice services play in our communities. At True Care Home Care, we understand the importance of providing quality care for your loved ones in the […]
National Family Caregivers’ Month
National Family Caregivers’ Month is celebrated each November in the United States. It is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country and raise awareness about caregiving issues. Family caregivers play a significant role in their loved ones’ health and well-being, and their contributions are crucial to both the recipients of care […]
Boost Your Health Literacy: Your Key to Quality Home Care
October is Health Literacy Month, and we at True Care are excited to talk about what health literacy is and how it applies to home care. While, at a bare-bones level, health literacy is about having the tools to understand health-related information, there is so much more to it that can help make your home […]
World Osteoporosis Day: Taking Care of Your Bones
World Osteoporosis Day: Taking Care of Your Bones Today, we’re shining a spotlight on a day that’s all about your bones – World Osteoporosis Day! Having just taken place on October 20th, World Osteoporosis Day is a day to appreciate and educate yourself about the significance of bone health. Just as you take care of […]