There’s nothing quite like turning on the radio and hearing your favorite song. In fact, studies show that listening to music can reduce stress levels, enhance your mood and improve sleep. But the healing powers of music don’t stop there. For the nearly 44 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s Disease, music can also be medicine.
Music therapy uses music to address emotional, cognitive and social issues in children, teens, adults and seniors. While the exact methods used by a music therapist vary based on the needs and goals of the individual, activities may include listening to music, singing or playing a musical instrument.
Music takes little to no cognitive processing at all, making it a successful therapy program for those throughout the stages of dementia. Even those in the later stages of the disease are able to engage with familiar music, especially rhythmic playing and singing. For this reason, many senior living communities have made music therapy an essential component of their memory care programming.
Numerous studies show the positive impact music therapy can have on those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, including its ability to reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues as listening to music can have a calming, relaxing effect. This is especially true for those also effected by Sundowner’s Syndrome, who have been shown to react positively to slower, melodic ballads or lullabies before bed.
Additionally, music therapy has been shown to impact the following:
And because listening to music is often a social activity, music therapy may also help alleviate feelings of isolation and depression in those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Music therapy is just one way those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can ease their symptoms. At Symphony Senior Living, our “Moments®” Memory Care program incorporates a number of alternative treatments and therapies, including the Music and Memory℠ program, to ensure seniors are able to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle, while also ensuring their safety and security.
Contact us today to learn more about our memory care living options for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia.