Music and Dementia: The Connection That Can Help Older Adults

senior man wearing headphones

Advanced Home Health Care, providers of Burlington elder care, discusses the connection between music and dementia.

Nowadays, music is more available than ever before. For those who take smartphones or tablets with them everywhere they go, hundreds of thousands – if not tens of millions of tunes – are simply a few touches or finger swipes away. If you are a caregiver for a senior, your smartphone can be one of the most helpful tools in your possession to help tap into the benefits of music. This viral video clip from the Alive Inside documentary illustrates just how tremendously effective music can be for older adults with restricted capabilities and dementia. The link researchers are discovering between music and dementia could translate into good news for seniors with dementia and their caregivers.

Music is More Accessible Than Ever Before

With limitless musical libraries easily available from places like iTunes, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, and numerous others, we can now find music, often at no charge, in a variety of genres in mere seconds. Caregivers can find out what kinds of music the older adult liked earlier in his or her lifetime to reap the benefits of pairing music and dementia. The music could be related to a particular period of time, such as Big Band music, or it could be unique to his or her religious affiliations, like gospel or hymns, for example. The type of music enjoyed throughout one’s life may also hinge on the person’s ethnic history – like those who prefer reggae or salsa. The older person might also have enjoyed timeless favorites such as jazz, blues, classical, country, and so on. No matter the musical preference, accessibility to music could have amazing benefits.

Music Brings Memories to the Surface

Did you ever listen to a song on the radio and it took you back to a specific time in your life? Studies have shown that music is powerfully linked to personal memories. The human brain is essentially hard-wired to correlate music with long-term memories. This is the case even for individuals with moderate to severe dementia.

Music & Memory is a non-profit company that brings personalized music into the lives of older adults through digital music technology, vastly enhancing quality of life. The employees at Music & Memory train caregivers for seniors and family members in how to develop and utilize individualized playlists with digital devices to empower those who have dementia and other challenges to reconnect with the world through memories from music.

Music Can Restore Calm

Research has also shown that hearing music that is familiar and loved can help in decreasing anxiety levels and enhance focus on the present timeframe, which in turn assists seniors with dementia to connect to those around them.

At Advanced Home Health Care, our objective is always to enhance the quality of life for older adults through our highly skilled home care services and support. Our caregivers go the extra mile in the little things that can bring joy to the days of those we serve – such as through music and other creative activities. Contact us today online or over the phone at 319.753.6270 or 319.524.2144 to learn more about our Burlington elder care and care in nearby areas.

The Care You Need. The Quality You Deserve.