Listening to Music: Powerful Benefits for Those with Dementia

Posted by Senior Solutions Management Group on Nov 1, 2021 8:00:00 AM | 3 minute read

Senior Solutions - Benefits of Listening to Music for Dementia

The power of music can be seen throughout history. For centuries, music has been used as a tool by every culture to define and share ways of life. The different languages, beats, and rhythms create a unique sound that individuals can resonate within their own ways. 

For so many of us, music is part of our daily lives. Whether you use it as motivation during a workout or listen to calming tones as you fall asleep, music is right there to support you. Beyond this support, listening to music is also beneficial for individuals living with dementia. Senior Solutions Management Group has memory care communities throughout Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee. We have seen the power of music and are sharing the positive impact that listening to music can have on those living with a memory impairment.

Music Can Spark Memories

In one form or another, music has been a part of our lives. From the lullabies we hear as children to a wedding song or memorable concert, we attach memories to specific melodies. 

Short-term memory is often the most affected part when a person develops dementia, whereas long-term memories remain intact. According to the Mayo Clinic, “musical memories are often preserved in [dementia] because key brain areas linked to musical memory are relatively undamaged by the disease.” 

When individuals living with a form of dementia hear a song that is significant to them, they are often reminded of the memories attached to it.  By listening to music, individuals can improve cognitive functioning and increase recognition and recollection.

Music Provides Stimulation and Engagement

We all need stimulation and engagement. However, it can become more difficult for an individual with advanced dementia to communicate with the people around them, finding alternative ways to interact becomes important. 

One of the great benefits of listening to music is that it provides a way for these individuals to engage and connect with their environment. Even if they are having trouble communicating verbally, tapping their feet or clapping to the beat allows them to express themselves and show how they feel. 

Music Can Evoke Positive Changes in Mood

An article published through Dove Press states a “small study found that passively listening to a preferred music was effective in reducing measures of anxiety in a population of residential care patients with dementia.”

We have all been there. Just getting home from a long day, you may not feel like your best self, so you put on some music. After a few songs have played, you start to feel your mood lighten, and before you know it, you are singing along to your favorite songs. The same effect can happen to those living with a form of dementia. When individuals listen to music, it can:

  • Relieve stress,
  • Ease agitation,
  • Reduce anxiety,
  • And lessen feelings of depression.

“Music does not need to be familiar to [improve mood or behavior] and one does not need to have any formal knowledge of music or be musically inclined to enjoy music and respond to it at the deepest level (practicalneurology.com).”

Guide to Alzheimer's and Dementia Care eBook-Senior Solutions Management Group

Discover Memory Care at Alexander Guest House 

Alexander Guest House, one of our Senior Solutions Management Group communities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, offers our unique memory care program, “The Retreat.” Providing an inviting and secure atmosphere that supports those living with memory impairments, Alexander Guest House strives to foster an environment of dignity, independence, purpose, and activity for residents.

Their team of professionally trained team members takes a family-based approach to dementia care. At The Retreat, individuals participate in memory-stimulating activities and music-focused programming in a relaxed setting that promotes comfort and safety. 

Our mission is to improve the quality of life of every individual we serve, extending to each of our communities.

No matter who you are, music can positively impact your life. If your loved one has been diagnosed with a form of dementia, try incorporating their favorite music in their daily routine.

To learn more about Alexander Guest House or explore our other memory care communities throughout Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee, we invite you to contact a member of our team or visit our website.

Topics: Memory Care, Alzheimer's and Dementia

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