How Music Helps Seniors with Dementia

These days, music is more available than ever before thanks to smartphones and tablets allowing us access to hundreds of thousands – if not tens of millions of tunes – from a simple click of a button or swipe of our fingers. For those who are caregivers for seniors with dementia, your smartphone can be one of the most practical tools in your possession to realize the benefits of music. This viral video clip from the Alive Inside documentary illustrates just how tremendously effective music can be for seniors with dementia and restricted abilities.

Music is Very Accessible

With limitless musical libraries readily available from places like iTunes, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, and countless others, we can now find music, often for no cost, in a number of different genres in mere seconds. Caregivers can find out what types of music the senior liked to listen to throughout his or her lifetime. It may be related to a particular period of time, like Big Band music, or it might be unique to his or her religious affiliations, like gospel or hymns, for instance. Perhaps it’s linked to the person’s cultural history – such as those who prefer reggae or salsa. The older adult might also have enjoyed timeless favorites like jazz, blues, classical, country, and so on. No matter the musical preference, availability to music can have incredible advantages.

Music Stimulates Long-Term Memories

Did you ever listen to a song on the radio and it took you back to a distinct time in your life? Studies have shown that music is strongly linked to personal memories. The human brain is essentially hard-wired to link music with long-term memories. This is the case even for individuals with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. 

Music & Memory is a non-profit business that brings personalized music into the lives of older adults through digital music technology, immensely improving quality of life. The employees at Music & Memory train caregivers for older adults and family members in how to create and utilize individualized playlists with digital devices in order to enable older adults who have dementia and other challenges to connect once again with the world through memories from music.

Music Can Restore Calm

Studies have also revealed that hearing music that is familiar and well-loved can assist in decreasing anxiety levels and enhance focus on the present timeframe, which in turn encourages older adults with dementia to connect to other people around them. 

At Complete Care at Home, our goal is always to improve quality of life for the elderly through our skilled elder care services and support. And, we go the extra mile when it comes to the little things that can brighten up the days of those we serve – such as through music and other creative activities. Call us today at (805) 727-3445 to learn more about our elderly care in Montecito and other surrounding areas. For more detailed information about the different areas we serve in California, please visit our Service Area page. 

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