For individuals with various forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc., some truly good medicine is being provided by music. Astonishingly, the memory for music remains, even in adults experiencing impairment, progressive memory loss, and other symptoms associated with dementia. In many facilities across the globe, programs involving music for dementia patients are being put to good use.
Long after words, faces, and names are forgotten, melodies can frequently be remembered. Studies have indicated that when dementia patients listen to music, it can improve their focus, reduce agitation, and boost their mood. Possibly best of all, to connect with fond memories, music assists individuals in all dementia stages.
Dementia and the Use of Music
To stay as happy and engaged as possible, music for dementia patients is being used by numerous caregivers in any number of communities. In the following ways, dementia treatment uses music:
- To start the day, singing or playing happy, animated songs can assist dementia patients with their morning hygiene activities, getting dressed, and more.
- To break away from repetitive behavior, listening to a song they remember can help a dementia patient. Rather than repeating an activity or motion, or asking a question over and over again, they can do something fun, beneficial, and familiar.
- The ability to speak has been lost by some dementia patients. Communication can be accomplished, in some cases, with music. To the rhythm of the music, while they listen, they can tap, nod, or clap. They can join in social activities, express themselves, and more during sing-alongs.
- To ease sundowning behavior (i.e., anger, anxiety, etc. in the evenings), and create a calm environment, calming, soft music can be used. For bedtime routines, you can create a serene atmosphere with the right music.
Making a Playlist
For music to have the most impact on dementia patients, research has shown that the tunes should be familiar. Consider these tips when making a playlist for someone with dementia:
- Consider their former environment – When they were younger, what type of musical entertainment was enjoyed? Did they go to concerts, Broadway shows, or the opera regularly? The music for your playlist will be better chosen if you can identify the answer to those questions.
- A person’s musicality must be understood – In the past, how did the person engage with music, and what is their background? With a retired minister, for example, gospel music may resonate. For a retired professor, a school song may be recognized. For a concert pianist, classical music could be the best choice.
- Recognize their era – For dementia patients, the ages between 18 to 25 are likely very significant when it comes to what kind of music they listened to and will remember.
For people with dementia, the use of following the songs has been extremely successful:
- She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain
- Amazing Grace
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow
- You Are My Sunshine
Grab Some Friends and Participate in a Sing-Along At Country Club At Woodland Hills
Discover the many benefits of the Country Club at Woodland Hills. We offer numerous opportunities for socialization. Get a group of friends together and listen to some of your favorite old tunes and learn new songs. Participate in a weekly sing-along, if you like. You may be surprised at how many of the lyrics you remember to some of those age-old tunes.
At Country Club At Woodland Hills, our resident-focused community offers the opportunity for a fun and active lifestyle with health and wellness programs, social and recreational events, and more.
Contact us today if you have questions or if you would like to schedule a tour.