Music is considered to have medicinal benefits when used correctly, and the same holds true when you try music for dementia and people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Quite interestingly, researchers have found that people with dementia deal with progressive memory loss but they still maintain memory for music. It means someone with dementia is likely to remember melodies long after faces, names, and words are forgotten. Picking the right music can go a long way in reducing agitation, boosting mood, and improving focus in people with dementia.
Why does Music help with Dementia?
The benefits of music for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are not without evidence. Studies show that your brain processes music in a completely different way as compared to how it processes language and movement. In fact, it stimulates different parts of your brain along with stimulating areas affecting mood, language, movement, as well as the senses of sight, hearing, touch, and sound.
It means that if other parts of the brain aren’t functioning properly to help regulate movement, mood, or language, a patient may still respond to music because it affects brain cells differently. That’s why music for dementia is likely to improve the quality of life for patients.
- Considering the benefits, many caregivers and specialized facilities now utilize music therapy in a variety of ways. You can also use those tactics to see if it helps your loved one suffering from dementia and memory-related problems.
- Use happy songs to start the day. Singing or playing animated songs early in the day may help patients handle morning hygiene activities with more authority.
- Play a familiar song to break repetitive behavior. It works great for many dementia patients and you may try it if you find it difficult to keep someone from repeating an activity or motion.
- Use music to communicate properly. The right use of music therapy can prove beneficial in communicating with dementia patients who no longer have the ability to speak. Many dementia patients nod, clap, or tap after listening to their favorite tunes. It is also possible to see them joining in sing-alongs and express their feelings in a better way.
- Use music to improve focus. It is hard to make someone suffering from dementia to maintain focus for long, but music therapy proves effective by helping patients with their breathing and assisting them in maintaining an interest in the activity.
- Use music to ease anxiety and improve sleep quality. You can utilize music therapy to create a calm atmosphere for nighttime routines. Be sure to use soft music to help ease anger and anxiety.
There surely are some amazing benefits associated with music therapy for dementia patients, but sometimes, singing those tunes is not the right thing to do. A better idea is to get a dementia player and then work on creating a personalized playlist that would resonate with someone suffering from dementia. You may want to pick something from the era when the patient was in their 20s. Keeping a patient’s personal background in mind will also help select the best tracks. So, use these tricks and see how music benefits a patient struggling with dementia.