When it comes to music and dementia, there are many benefits to playing music within a memory care community. Not only can it help a person living with dementia improve their cognitive function, but it also has emotional benefits like reducing agitation and anxiety. These factors make music an essential part of any memory care plan.
At Brickmont Assisted Living, we believe that music has the power to transform lives for the better. Our caregivers incorporate music into our Silver Linings Memory Care program as one of the many ways we address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of residents.
By including music in dementia care, a person living with dementia can reap the benefits, and you can create a positive environment for them.
Music Can Improve Cognitive Function
Although dementia is a progressive disease, there are ways to help a person living with dementia mitigate that progression. A study referenced by the Alzheimer’s Association showed that music can have an immense impact on cognitive function:
“In one pilot program, 45 patients with mid- to late-stage dementia had one hour of personalized music therapy, three times a week, for 10 months, and improved their scores on a cognitive-function test by 50 percent on average. One patient in the study recognized his wife for the first time in months.”
Music is frequently linked to memory, so creating a personalized playlist of your family member’s favorite songs is a great way to bring them enjoyment and help them connect with old memories.
Music Can Soothe a Person with Dementia
Music and dementia go together for more reasons than cognitive improvement. Music also can calm a person living with dementia. Because dementia affects different parts of the brain – and affects each person differently – there may be times when a person’s behavior rapidly changes.
They may become anxious, scared, overly aggressive, or angry. In these moments, music can often help soothe the person and help them to relax. People connect with music in a way that they rarely connect with anything else. With the right music playing, you can help your family member effectively respond to rapid changes in their feelings and behaviors.
Music can have a profound effect on your mood as well. For example, putting on fast and energetic music might give you the energy to tackle an important task or project. In contrast, soft and soothing music is better for focus and relaxation.
The same is true for a person living with dementia. By helping them curate their music selections, you can also provide them with techniques to effectively manage their moods.
Music Therapy is Good for Caregivers, Too
Music therapy is an effective treatment option for memory care communities, not just for the residents. Caregivers can also experience benefits from listening to music at critical parts of the day.
As a caregiver to someone living with dementia, you have one of the most important and emotional jobs. Although there are countless joys, there can also be many challenges, frustrations, and sorrows. Fortunately, music can help you respond to these challenges with patience, grace, and peace.
When you feel worried, anxious, or frustrated, try to separate yourself from the situation. From there, find a quiet place where you can play music on low volume or put on your headphones. As little as ten minutes of soft and soothing music can be enough to help you reset your focus and return to the situation with a clear perspective and a tranquil mind.
Music can help equip you with the coping skills to provide the highest standard of care without suffering from stress overload or burnout.
We encourage you to incorporate music into your memory care plan today and discover the positive impact it can have on your life.
At Brickmont Assisted Living, we have seen the power that music can have in memory care. For a person living with dementia, music offers a new opportunity for enjoyment, exploration, and relaxation. It is an art form that is beautiful and moving in every language. We invite you to contact a member of our team to learn more about our Silver Linings Memory Care program for someone you love.