The Healing Power of Music Therapy for People with Dementia

While music therapy can be useful for people of all ages, it’s especially beneficial for older people with dementia. New research has confirmed music improves the mood of patients and can even boost cognitive skills in people who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia while reducing the need for antipsychotic drugs.

Music therapists who work with dementia patients describe seeing people “wake up” when family sounds and lyrics fill their heads. Before music therapy, some Alzheimer’s or dementia patients had gone years without speaking. After music therapy, they began to talk, became more social, and appeared to be more engaged with their surroundings. Others began to remember names and even remember who they are personally.

Music affects many parts of the brain and touches areas which may not be damaged by the disease.
Music affects many parts of the brain and touches areas which may not be damaged by the disease.

Music therapy improves the overall physical and mental well-being of dementia patients including:

  • Improved memory
  • Positive changes in mood and emotional state
  • A sense of control over their life
  • Management of pain and discomfort without prescription drugs
  • Stimulation promoting interest even when other approaches are ineffective
  • Structure promoting rhythmic and continuous movement or vocal fluency as an adjunct to physical rehabilitation
  • Opportunity to interact socially with others

Music affects many parts of the brain and touches areas which may not be damaged by the disease. It helps to maintain an increased level of physical, mental, social, and emotional functioning. The “awakening” that occurs, as a result, is astounding and can help maintain a person’s quality of life or even improve it.

Music Therapy for Alzheimer’s/Dementia: Real-Life Results

You may have first heard about music therapy for dementia when a YouTube video went viral with a senior name Henry. He suffered from dementia for a decade and was withdrawn and unable to communicate. That is until the Music and Memory program gave him an iPod with music from his era.

Music and Memory not only provide iPods for seniors, they also educate family caregivers and care professionals on how to create personalized playlists for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Familiar music can help trigger and reconnect memories many people thought were completely lost.

At LTC Consumer, we believe it’s important to prepare for the future. As dementia and Alzheimer’s disease become more and more common, everyone needs a plan to help pay for future long-term care needs. Request a free quote for Long-Term Care insurance today and speak with an LTC specialist to create your long-term care plan.