Dementia affects around one in 14 people over the age of 65, with Alzheimer’s disease accounting for around 60-70% of each case.
It deteriorates cognitive functions faster than the standard aging process. And those with the disease aren’t the only ones affected.
There is no cure, which is why it is so vital to use therapies like music for dementia wherever possible. There are tons of studies that confirm the positive mental health impact of music therapy. And the same applies to dementia music therapy, too.
Here are some of the top proven benefits of music therapy for dementia.
- Reduces Anxiety and Depression
People with dementia are more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders. They are also more likely to have mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and aggressive behavior.
Music for dementia patients, tailored to their specific needs, can reduce these issues. There are several studies to back this up.
As with anyone suffering from mental health disorders, anything that alleviates this is a huge benefit. Positive mental health affects a person with dementia’s quality of life and ability to enjoy activities.
- Maintains Speech and Language Skills
Playing music for dementia patients can help them maintain their speech and language skills.
These skills live in the left-hand side of the brain which is the area that music affects the listener most. By engaging in this part of the brain, even in a passive way, the listener with dementia benefits.
- Triggers Emotional Memories
The music that people with dementia listened to from ages 10 to 30 has the most long-lasting impact. So, music and memory care community therapy go hand-in-hand.
Music from a dementia sufferer’s wedding, for example, could help trigger positive memories.
If music is so powerful that it gives someone the “chills”, this could also give the listener a boost of dopamine or endorphins. In many dementia patients, their bodies may be desperate for these mood-enhancing chemicals.
- Provides a Shared Experience
Carers and family members often struggle to connect with their loved ones suffering from dementia. But, listening to music can help provide a common experience and mutual enjoyment.
It can help those who are often withdrawn come out of their shell proving that music therapy and dementia is a worthwhile venture.
- Improves Cognitive and Fine Motor Skills
This is a different take on music and dementia and the benefits for sufferers. It involves using music as a way of preventing or delaying the disease rather than as a treatment.
There is some research to show that people who play a musical instrument are one-third less likely to develop the disease.
Playing music improves the brain’s cognitive and fine motor skills and keeps it active.
Music for Dementia Offers Hope
Anyone who has a loved one with dementia or is a sufferer knows that there can be more bad days than good. Music for dementia can offer a ray of hope that you will enjoy some brighter days which is worth exploring further.
Want to learn more about the healing power of music or how to help older communities? Browse our website for lots of advice!