Need a mental boost? It’s probably as close as your fingertips, if your smart phone or radio are nearby for generating some music and overall good vibes. Music offers a myriad of benefits for young and old alike, including people with dementia. Music’s advantages:
1. Music increases brain activity. According to Alzheimer’s.net, music evokes emotions that bring memories. “By pairing music with everyday activities, people can develop a rhythm that helps them recall the memory of that activity, improving cognitive ability over time.”
2. Music improves mood. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America reports, “Music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements.”
3. Music can impact dementia sufferers. Even when other therapies fail to help dementia patients interact with others, music has been shown to reach these people suffering from a decline in mental ability, such as memory loss, which is severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia, according to Alzheimers.org.
“A recent study shows that dementia and Alzheimer’s patients can recall memories and emotions, and have enhanced mental performance after singing classic hits and show tunes from movies and musicals – a breakthrough in understanding how music affects those with dementia and Alzheimer’s,” reports Alzheimer’s.net.
Music aptitude and appreciation are two abilities that remain with dementia patients, even after other abilities have faded away. “Music is an excellent way to reach beyond the disease and reach the person,” says Alzheimers.net.
To help dementia sufferers engage in music, experts recommend choosing a favorite genre, or selecting popular music from the classics or Disney favorites. They urge caregivers to not give up on dementia sufferers, but to try to engage them through music and singing, which are beneficial, inexpensive, and effective.
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