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How Music Helps Seniors with Dementia

The therapeutic benefits of music are well documented and, in many cases, transformative. Not only does music offer social and emotional benefits to older listeners, but it can also stimulate their memories and stir their emotions. Here, readers will learn more about music therapy and its benefits for seniors with cognitive decline.

Explaining Dementia

Dementia isn’t a disease but a catch-all term for cognitive symptoms that affect daily life. There are different types of dementia, some more well-known than others. A memory care and assisted living facility helps residents cope with Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and other conditions.

Though each type of dementia starts differently, families can look for signs such as:

  • A shortened attention span.
  • Repeating questions.
  • Getting lost in familiar surroundings.
  • Personality changes.
  • Difficulty with communication.

Contact us to learn how our team can help your family member manage their dementia symptoms.

Music Therapy and Its Benefits

Music therapy uses the mood-elevating properties of sound to help seniors improve their well-being and health. Music therapy sessions typically consist of lyrical exercises, instrument playing, composition, singing, dancing, and much more. Numerous studies have demonstrated the cognitive and emotional benefits of this type of therapy for seniors, including:

  • Improved recall. A primary benefit of senior music therapy is a marked improvement in recall. Long-term memory is one of the last things to go in a person with dementia, and seniors often use music to bring back memories they thought were lost. Furthermore, the ability to sing along and remember lyrics is a source of pride.
  • Reducing stress and boosting mood. For thousands of years, music has been used to soothe the spirit—and this benefit is crucial for those with dementia-related anxiety and agitation. Research shows that musical therapy has lasting effects on seniors’ emotional regulation, even after sessions are over.
  • Dance and intentional movement. Many times, seniors dance during musical therapy sessions. Everyone can benefit from aerobic exercise, but it’s particularly good for older people who live sedentary lifestyles. When residents dance in their chairs or tap their feet, they can’t help but smile.
  • Encouraging social interaction. Music is a wonderful way to make people feel like they’re part of a community. When residents listen to music together, they’re more likely to interact with one another. Not only is it fun to sing along with their favorite songs, but it’s great to share stories, too.

Hearing music and moving to the beat is a way to bring happiness and relaxation to seniors who, because of memory loss, have become disconnected and withdrawn. Visit us in person to learn how music therapy helps residents connect with others in more meaningful ways.

Quality Memory Care

Vienna Memory Care offers a range of personalized services that promote residents’ emotional and physical well-being. Our activities directors regularly schedule live performances and music therapy events that enrich residents’ lives. We proudly deliver world-class care for seniors with dementia in a warm and welcoming setting. Use our online form to request more information or call to schedule a tour.

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