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10 Mar 2019

Can Music Help Someone with Alzheimer's?

   

Topics: Music Therapy

Every March Canada celebrates Music Therapy Month.

Not only does music sound great, it has an amazing ability to trigger a variety of emotions within us and can be beneficial to our well-being.

But how can it help with your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia?

It may be hard for your loved one to express themselves through words but music can help trigger reactions, feelings, emotions and memories.

Music appreciation is also one of the last cognitive skills to be affected by dementia and can also:

Help to reduce stress and anxiety

Slow calming music can positively help to relax the mind.

Reduce agitation

Whether it's restlessness, pacing or verbal aggression to name a few, agitation may be caused by various medical conditions or circumstances that inhibits your loved one’s ability to think. When used appropriately, music can positively help in changing moods and create positive interactions.

Bring a physically and emotional closeness

During the later stages of dementia, it becomes increasingly difficult for your loved one to share their emotions. Music can help bring a closeness and security through something as simple as holding hands or a hug.

If you are a caregiver for your loved one try using music to help them based on what you know they enjoy listening to and remember to:

Encourage movement

Whether it’s tapping a foot, clapping or if possible dancing along, not only does it keep them active but creates a positive and pleasant environment.

Sing

By encouraging and accompanying your loved one to sing it can help boost their mood and possibly stimulate memories. It's engaging and helps to activate the left side of the brain allowing your loved one to exercise mentally.

Have you found any music that helps your loved one? Is there an artist or song they love the most and how did they react to it?