Research suggests that listening or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioral benefits for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. The reason being is that the brain area linked to musical memory is undamaged by Alzheimer’s. It has been proven that music aids in relieving stress, reducing anxiety and depression, mildly improving memory loss, and calming agitated patients. It can also provide a way for caregivers to connect with loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s who have difficulty communicating.
This type of therapy has been proven to bring patients who have dementia to a better place cognitively and emotionally. There are many more reasons for music therapy than just its ability to help with memory loss. Others include:
- Treatment for pain management
- Physical issues involving gross motor skills or fine motor skills processing grief
- Strengthening respiratory function
- Stress management
- Physical and cognitive health issues
If you would like to use music to help a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease, consider these tips:
- Think about your loved one’s taste in music. What music brings back memories of happy times in your loved one’s life? Involve family by asking them to suggest songs to make playlists.
- Set a mood with your choice of music. Play music or sing a soothing song to calm your loved one during mealtime or a morning hygiene routine. When you would like to encourage and excite your loved one’s mood, then you can choose more upbeat music.
- Avoid overstimulation. When playing music, diminish competing noises if possible.
- Encourage movement. Help your loved ones to clap along or tap their feet to the beat.
- Sing along. Singing along to music with your loved ones can enhance the mood and strengthen their trust in you. Some early studies also suggest singing can help stimulate unique memories.
- Pay attention to your loved one’s response. If your loved one enjoys certain songs, play them often. If your loved one reacts negatively to a particular piece or type of music, change the song right away.
While the disease currently has no cure, others focus on different ways to improve a patient’s quality of life. Music offers many benefits for Alzheimer’s patients in varying stages of the disease. At Next Day Access, the primary goal is to provide your aging loved one with a comfortable home that is safe and secure. We specialize in making sure your home has all the home modifications in place to keep your loved one happy at home. Contact us to schedule an in-home consultation.