Music Therapy – How Music Can Benefit People Suffering from Dementia
There are numerous seniors across the world who struggle with different forms of dementia as their age progresses. This process is often difficult and trying, both for the person affected and for their family and loved ones. What makes this even harder for all involved is that modern medicine has yet to provide a cure for this heart breaking affliction.
Though we do lack a decisive cure, there are ways that we can at least try to work with dementia and help those suffering from it as well as their families.
Music Therapy and Dementia
According to sources, there is ample research proving the benefits of music therapy when working with dementia such as Alzheimer’s. The human mind works in ways that we with all our scientific advancements are yet to properly understand. One thing that is clear, however, is patients suffering from dementia such as Alzheimer’s are quite responsive to music – sometimes more so than they are to simple words!
Music and The Mind
Though this is not something that applies to everyone struggling with dementia, research does suggest that memories that may be associated with music remain unaffected by the disease. This was even so with individuals suffering from middle stage Alzheimer’s.
Where many could not remember details like addresses, names of family members and other relevant specifics regarding their lives, they are able to recall entire songs. Those who could play could play out entire compositions.
For some reason, musical memory seems to run deeper in many than any other form of memory that exists.
How this All Helps
One of the hardest things about dementia is that patients slowly lose out on the number of healthy and constructive activities they can partake in. Music plays different roles at different stages of dementia.
Music offers those in early stages of dementia an activity to partake in which is both rewarding and constructive. Listening to and making music can revive people and like they have done something worthwhile. It helps raise self esteem which many struggling with dementia may have trouble with.
Music also offers a great way for such individuals to reconnect with the past and their memories even if only for a while.
During these stages, many find it challenging to do things like sing entire songs, remember compositions and chords or partake in other such activities. This can also become frustrating.
During this stage music is used most to help those who are feeling scared or anxious. It can still be used as entertainment but is also used for functions like helping with sleep. Further, music is used to slow down or delay the further onset of whatever form of dementia that the senior in question may be contending with.
Even in the later stages of dementia, music can be used to calm, evoke responses and to entertain those who may be suffering from it.
Though there is no cure for dementia, one thing we can do is make sure that our senior loved ones struggling with it are offered everything possible to help make things a bit better. Given that we have been running a senior living home offering everything from independent housing to assisted living, we know a thing or two about working with dementia.
We even offer memory care services designed to help those struggling with dementia to our residents who require them. If you’re located in Studio City, CA and are looking for a senior living home for yourself or someone close just get in touch with us online or call us on 818-881-0055 for more details. Till next time folks!