Alzheimers and Music Therapy

Education and Care with Dementia: Music

For individuals who are dealing with dementia and Alzheimers disease; certain types of therapies can often help lessen the severity of their symptoms and provide these individuals with some positivity in their lives. For many individuals, one of the most effective types of therapies being used today is music therapy. Music therapy is a type of therapy that can be used in all different stages of Alzheimers disease and it can be a powerful tool for shifting mood, managing stress and facilitating cognitive function. Many have also found that music can help with motor movements and lead to more positive interactions.

One of the great things about music as a form of therapy is that even as the disease progresses an individuals ability to engage in musical expression such as signing or playing basic rhythms often stays intact even in the later stages of the disease. Also, with music, there are a number of emotional and mental ties that can help people with dementia call upon important events in their lives or memories that they have had. There are many people who associate music with important events and for an individual with dementia this can be just the trigger that they need to start jogging their memory. However, as a caregiver, when it comes to using music as a memory tool, keep in mind that music can also draw upon negative memories so you will want to monitor your loved one to help prevent agitation.

Another one of the ways that music is often utilized for individuals with dementia is to illicit certain responses or to stimulate or sedate these individuals. Playing calm and soothing music can be a great way to get a person with dementia to calm down before bed time. Playing up beat music with a rhythm can also be used to help keep individuals awake if they fall asleep during meals or who nap so much during the day that they cant sleep at night.

There are a number of different ways you can utilize music for an individual with Alzheimers disease. In the early stages on this disease you can take the individual with dementia to different dance halls or concerts to listen to music in a setting outside of their home, while in the middle and later stages, music can be enjoyed at their home or care facility. Whether you have your loved one listening to music or playing along with basic percussion instruments, or singing along with familiar words, there are a number of benefits that can be enjoyed with music therapy for individuals with Alzheimers disease.

 

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