Music Therapy & Dementia

Music Therapy & Dementia

  • October 10, 2017

There was a time not so long ago when Alzheimer's disease and dementia seemed completely untreatable. Families thought the best they could hope for was to keep their older loved one physically safe as their emotional and cognitive faculties continued to slide.

Fortunately, that time has passed. Now, thanks to the dedication, compassion, and diligent research of the scientific community, there are a number of ways to improve the quality of life for seniors with Alzheimer's disease and similar forms of dementia.

One of the most effective tools in treating dementia is music therapy. 

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy comes in many forms. In simple terms, it is the use of music as a means of improving the physical, cognitive, or emotional well-being of someone suffering from any number of debilitating conditions. It is considered an 'expressive therapy' and can include anything from guided listening to an actual musical performance.

The benefits of music therapy for people with dementia are similar to those achieved for patients affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, autism, and depression. 

Music Therapy and Dementia

Music therapy is a tool that can be effective in helping people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Even in the later stages of the disease --- sometimes long after people have stopped recognizing the names and faces of loved ones --- they can still remember song lyrics and enjoy singing.

This is one of the reasons that dementia care communities have long used music as a form of life enrichment. It continues to resonate with people when other activities don’t. Noticing these results, psychologists who specialize in music therapy began to explore other possible uses.

Music Therapy as a Tool

Thanks to their work, music therapy can now be a very effective way to address the emotional and mental effects of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Beyond music's value as a form of entertainment — which should not be underestimated — a trained music therapist also can use it to help patients regain lost memories and improve aspects of cognitive functioning.

Five Star Senior Living and Dementia Care 

You probably wouldn't be here if your older loved one wasn't showing some signs of dementia. So we know this is likely a difficult time for you and your family. 

No matter how discouraged you might feel, remember that help is available. Call us if you'd like to schedule an in-person tour of one of our dementia care or assisted living communities. Seeing what a quality memory care program can do for your senior loved one might help you better plan for their future care needs.

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