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Using Music to Treat Dementia: What You Should Know

The providers of Chevy Chase home care and home care in nearby communities explores research around using music to treat dementia.
The providers of Chevy Chase home care and home care in nearby communities explores research around using music to treat dementia.
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Nowadays, music is more widely available than ever before. For those who take smartphones or tablets with them everywhere they go, hundreds of thousands – if not tens of millions of songs – are merely a few touches or finger swipes away. If you are a caregiver for an older adult, your smartphone can be one of the most valuable tools in your possession to help tap into the benefits of music. This widely circulated video clip from the Alive Inside documentary illustrates just how tremendously powerful using music to treat dementia in older adults with limited capabilities can be.

Music On Demand

With massive musical libraries readily available from places like iTunes, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, and countless others, we can now find music, in many cases for no cost, in a range of styles in only seconds. Caregivers can determine what kinds of music an older adult enjoyed throughout his or her lifetime. It may be related to a certain period of time, such as Big Band music, or it might be unique to the senior’s religious affiliations, such as gospel or hymns, for example. Or perhaps it’s related to the person’s cultural history – such as those who prefer reggae or salsa. The older adult might also have enjoyed timeless favorites such as jazz, blues, classical, country, and so forth. No matter the musical preference, access to music can have incredible benefits.

Music is Linked to Personal Memories

Have you ever listened to a song on the radio and have it take you back to a distinct time in your life? Studies have uncovered that music is strongly linked to personal memories. The human brain is actually hard-wired to link music with long-term memories. This is the case even for individuals with moderate to severe dementia.

Music & Memory is a non-profit business that brings personalized music into the lives of older adults through digital music technology, vastly enhancing the quality of life. The employees at Music & Memory train caregivers for seniors and family members on how to develop and use individualized playlists with digital devices and on using music to treat dementia. They do this in order to empower those who have dementia and other challenges to connect once again with the world through memories from music.

Music Can Ease Dementia Anxiety

Research has also revealed that hearing music that is familiar and loved can assist in lowering anxiety levels and increase focus on the present timeframe. This in turn aids seniors with dementia to connect to those around them.

At Specialty Care Services, our intent is always to improve the quality of life for older adults through our skilled dementia home care services and support. Our caregivers go the extra mile when it comes to the small things that can bring joy to the days of those we serve – such as through music and other creative activities. Contact us online or call us today at 301-585-6300 to learn more about our home care services and dementia care in Silver Spring and the nearby areas.

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