There’s an ever growing body of evidence that music can have a powerful influence in helping to improve mood and reduce agitation, apathy and psychological distress in people living with dementia.
Neurologist, Oliver Sacks explains, “Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other human experience. Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring with it memory.”
Musical aptitude and appreciation remain far longer than most other abilities so even into the most advanced stages of dementia, music can still provide a way of reaching beyond the disease to the person.
Recent research has found that music in its various forms can improve both a person’s physical health and mental wellbeing.
Benefits music can bring to people living with dementia
- Improved mood
- Boosting confidence
- Promoting relaxation
- Improved awareness
- Preserving sense of identity
- Reduced need for antipsychotic medication
- Providing a means of reconnecting with loved ones and carers- even when verbal communication becomes too difficult.
Ways to incorporate music into dementia care
Whether its listening to live or recorded music, singing along, participating in live music making, creating a personal playlist of favourite musical tracks, or undertaking music therapy with a trained therapist, there are sound reasons to incorporate music into your daytime routine.
At Northfield House we are a care home specialising in the care of those with dementia. As such we always have music available for our residents to listen to in the main communal areas of the home.
In addition, we regularly engage entertainers to come into the home to perform singing, musicals and plays that all have a strong musical element. They are also specific to the age of our residents so that it triggers good memories and feelings from their past.
A useful source of advice is the Music for Dementia website which has the clear mission of making music available to everyone living with dementia.
The website is a central hub of information, containing evidence based research on why music is so beneficial, and practical information on how people can engage in musical activity of one sort or another to suit them.
To find out more about the possibilities, click here to visit the Music for Dementia website.
Northfield House is a specialist provider of dementia care in Stroud.
We pride ourselves on our warm welcoming atmosphere so please give us a ring on 01453 488060 .