Using Music Therapy to Treat Dementia in Older Adults

These days, music is more widely available than ever before. For people who take smartphones or tablets with them wherever they go, hundreds of thousands – if not tens of millions of tunes – are just a few taps or finger swipes away. If you are a caregiver for an older person, your smartphone may become one of the most useful tools in your possession to help realize the benefits of music. This widely circulated video clip from the Alive Inside documentary demonstrates just how tremendously powerful using music therapy to treat dementia in older adults with limited capabilities can be.

Music is Readily Accessible

With limitless musical libraries readily available from places like iTunes, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, and plenty of others, we can now find music, often at no charge, in a variety of genres in only seconds. Caregivers can determine what types of music the older adult liked throughout his or her lifetime. This could be related to a certain period of time, like Big Band music, or it may be unique to his or her religious beliefs, such as gospel or hymns, for instance. It may also be connected to the person’s cultural history – like those who prefer reggae or salsa. Or, the older adult might also have enjoyed timeless favorites such as jazz, blues, classical, country, and so forth. No matter the musical preference, access to music could have amazing advantages.

The Link to Memories

Have you ever listened to a song on the radio and have it transport you back to a particular time in your life? Studies have shown that music is clearly linked to personal memories. The human brain is essentially hard-wired to correlate music with long-term memories. This is the case even for moderate to severe dementia in older adults.

Music & Memory is a non-profit business that brings personalized music into the lives of seniors through digital music technology, greatly enhancing quality of life. The employees at Music & Memory train caregivers for older adults and family members on how to create and utilize individualized playlists with digital devices to empower those who have dementia and other challenges to reconnect with the world through memories from music.

Helping Seniors With Dementia Connect to Others

Research has also shown that listening to music that is familiar and loved can assist in reducing anxiety levels and increase focus on the present timeframe, which in turn assists older adults with dementia to connect to others around them.

At Carolina Hearts Home Care, our objective is always to enhance the quality of life for seniors through our creative dementia home care services and support. Our caregivers go the extra mile with regards to the little things that can bring joy to the days of those we serve – such as through music for seniors with dementia and other creative activities. Contact us online or give us a call at 1-855-277-2005 to learn more about our home care in Cheraw and the surrounding communities we serve.