Caring for a loved one with memory loss can be challenging, especially if you start noticing them lose interest in their surroundings. Thankfully there are tools, such as music, that can help improve their mood and create an atmosphere for social connections.
Music, according to researchers, stimulates many parts of the brain at the same time, including areas affecting language, mood, and movement, as well as the senses of hearing, sight, sound, and touch.
When Alzheimer’s patients hear music, they often have a visible change. They may perk up and become more interested in their surroundings, they may sing, dance, or clap their hands.
Staying active is critical for seniors with progressive disorders like Alzheimer’s because it can alleviate symptoms and improve mental and physical health. Music is one of the enjoyable activities you can incorporate into your senior loved one’s care plan.
It can slow the progression of the disease and make life less stressful. Here are 5 other benefits music has for seniors with Alzheimer’s that may surprise you.
Listening to music is like working out for your brain. Similar to how our muscles start to remember exercises, music can help trigger old memories and stimulate areas of the brain that haven’t been utilized in a while.
Music can be a powerful trigger for elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s. It won’t reverse memory loss, but it does slow cognitive decline and allows elderly people with mild or moderate symptoms to remember their past memories with loved ones.
When the brain is stimulated again, it deteriorates much slower. Music is also s great technique for caregivers to use to build trust with clients who have memory issues and to help them communicate with you.
When used as a therapy tool, caregivers can use the same song during the same activities to help create a sense of recognition and help cognitive function.
People suffering from dementia frequently experience changes in their emotional responses. They may have less control over how they express their feelings. For example, someone may overreact to situations, experience rapid mood swings, or become irritable. They may also appear unusually distant or uninterested in what is happening around them.
The mental health of seniors suffers greatly when there is no communication and no outside support. They might experience things like loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Jazz and classical music have been shown in studies to lessen the symptoms of depression.
Seniors can also be comforted by calming music when they’re experiencing anxiety. Listening sessions led by licensed music therapists are a great activity to try adding to your daily plan, it can help seniors who are experiencing depression and anxiety the most.
Social connections can have a big impact on your mental and cognitive health. As the disease progresses, older adults with Alzheimer’s often have difficulty connecting with family and friends, increasing their risk of depression.
Listening to music can help elderly people connect with their family, caregivers, grandchildren, friends, and other people. Your loved one may want to dance to the music while listening to it. Dancing with you and other family members may bring you closer together, as physical touch is a method of eliciting memories in Alzheimer’s patients.
Some things to remember when choosing music to listen to together:
- Think about their preferences
- Set the right mood
- Avoid overstimulating music
- Connect by participating in movement or singing along
- Pay attention to how they’re responding
Although music does not directly improve physical health, it does have significant indirect benefits. Exercise makes Alzheimer’s patients feel better, keeps their muscles active, and improves their heart health.
Incorporating music into their weekly schedule is an excellent way to increase physical activity. The song’s notes and rhythms can inspire them to dance, and listening to music while exercising can help an elderly person get more exercise.
When working out, faster and more upbeat music provides added motivation. People will adjust to the beat of the music, and their minds will be less focused on the exercise itself.
Music can improve sleep duration and quality in both healthy elderly people and people with Alzheimer’s Disease. There is also evidence that music therapy, rather than simply listening to music, can help manage dementia-related behavioral symptoms.
Set a quiet, peaceful atmosphere in the evening to assist your loved one in relaxing. Keep the lights dim, and play soothing music. Make an effort to have them go to bed at the same time every night with the same music to help create a comforting routine.
Compass Memory Care
Music is a fantastic tool that can improve the quality of life for those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. It can improve a person’s emotional and physical health while also providing a new way for them to interact with the world around them.If you are looking for ways to ensure your loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease is taken care of in their senior living community, contact us today to learn about Compass Memory Care.