Music Therapy for Dementia Patients
Dementia can sometimes seem like a never-ending nightmare for sufferers and their loved ones. In its later stages, dementia can be very difficult to handle as the decline of the brain gets to a point where people are unable to function on a day to day basis without home care or residing in a care facility. However, doctors and dementia patient caregivers often say there are certain activities that can sometimes break through to suffers. One of the most common is playing music they know from their youth, which is why here at Prestige Home Care Agency, we thought it would be a good idea to tell you everything there is to know about music therapy for dementia patients.
What Is Music Therapy?
Music therapy includes playing the music that dementia suffers remember from their youth. For a long time, doctors and caregivers didn’t know why people would react to this treatment – often suddenly recalling their youth and singing along with the words. Nowadays, more research has been conducted on the phenomenon, but it’s still relatively difficult to really know what is going on inside someone’s head. The theory is that memories of music are intrinsically linked with the parts of the brain that control emotions, language, and long-term memory, making it the best way to tap into parts of the psyche that otherwise wouldn’t function as a result of deterioration brought on by dementia.
The Benefits of Music Therapy
The benefits of music therapy have been widely discussed by caregivers and doctors, especially as it is probably just about the safest type of therapy there is! Unlike many drug therapies that attempt to calm dementia sufferers, music therapy is drug-free and non-invasive.
Recalling memories – A major benefit is the ability to recall memories linked to the music that is playing. This can sometimes give patients a brief respite from the stresses of living with the disease. Even if it’s only for a few moments, the memory of the good old days and the music that went with them can mean the world for patients and their loved ones.
Improving emotional wellbeing – Dementia sufferers often also suffer from extreme depression and anxiety as a result of the disease. Studies have shown that music therapy is good for easing these psychological disorders in dementia patients.
Possibly slows cognitive decline – The jury is still out on this one, but many doctors believe that regularly visiting past memories through music therapy could help slow the cognitive decline that comes with dementia. It is unlikely that the level to which it is slowed is significant enough to make this therapy a revelation, but it is certainly worth using as it’s virtually free and has no negative impacts on the patient.
The effects of listening to music on dementia patients have been known for some time by caregivers and doctors, but only now is this truly being recognized as a form of treatment that could be used in the fight against dementia. At Prestige Home Care Agency, we want our patients to have the best, most up-to-date care possible, so we’re always at the forefront of medical research that could in any way benefit the people we serve and their loved ones.