Music Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease
When your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, music can be an incredible way to foster connection and create happy memories. Additionally, music has been proven to improve emotional health and reduce anxiety levels.
When people hear music, their brain’s auditory cortex responds by producing an emotion known as a “proprioceptive response.” For those suffering from Alzheimer’s, this response may be triggered by hearing songs that bring back happy memories or remind them of singing along with someone.
A study by the University of Kentucky has indicated that listening to familiar songs can induce positive feelings and even reduce agitation in those living with dementia. It’s important to remember, though, that individuals’ responses may change over time as their brains adjust to living with this illness.
Personalization is essential in the therapeutic approach to music. Your therapist will collaborate with your loved one to find a song that has special significance for them – this could be something they used to sing with their parents or something that brings them joy.
The therapist can then guide the patient through a song by singing along or chanting it together. This can help the patient learn new words and improve their recall of lyrics from songs.
If the patient struggles to focus during therapy sessions, music that emphasizes movement may help. This could include clapping, swaying or dancing along with the music; not only will this develop their motor skills but also boost their self-esteem.
Music can be a powerful and soothing therapy that can be beneficial for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Studies have demonstrated that it increases cognitive function, quality of life for individuals with dementia while also alleviating depression and anxiety.
Additionally, singing along to a song has been known to reduce agitation and promote healthy movement. A recent study demonstrated that singing can actually help increase physical activity for those suffering from advanced dementia.
This is a great option for people with dementia who may be more prone to falling or other health complications from the condition. Furthermore, it’s an enjoyable way to socialize with your loved one and have some healthy fun together.
You can find music therapy services in your area or simply make music part of the routine when visiting your loved one. Just be sure to pay attention to moments when they become agitated, anxious or stressed so you can play their favorite music during those times.
Listening to familiar music can bring back happy memories and even inspire your loved one to engage in activities not typical for their current state. Furthermore, music has the power to strengthen their immune system as well as improve moods and emotional health.
A music therapist will craft a tailored therapy plan for each individual, taking into account their individual needs and preferences. They utilize various music therapy techniques that have been evaluated against 20 standardized clinical practices. Sessions may involve singing, rhythmic accompaniment, moving to background music, guessing songs, and more to achieve these outcomes.