Music is the universal language.
In individuals suffering from dementia, music has a way of reaching back in time and awakening memories. Many of Aspen Senior Care’s caregivers use music regularly with their clients to lift and brighten their moods. Some current studies have even shown what family members and caregivers have known for years: music has an incredible ability to calm, uplift and revive.
In these studies, music was shown to increase cognitive abilities and communication in people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as improve the psychological symptoms of dementia such as anxiety and depression. It’s hard to believe that something as simple as listening to music can bring about such amazing results but it does! A beautiful example of this can be seen in the documentary Alive Inside.
The following ideas can be used to help those caring for clients or loved ones.
1. Use music to bring back happy memories: Get to know your client and find out what music they liked when they were younger. Create a dementia playlist of your client’s favorite music to have on hand.
2. Music can be used to change moods: Music can be used to calm or soothe but can also be used to build up enthusiasm for a new task.
3. Relate to younger people through music: Music can bring generations together! Ask younger family members or friends what kind of music they listen to and ask them to share favorite songs.
4. Make music together: If your loved one or client is able to hold an instrument or pat on a table to the rhythm of the music, have them be involved in making music!
5. Share your favorite music: Music can help comfort and uplift caregivers as well as clients. Sharing and singing your favorite songs with your clients or loved ones helps you both connect with each other. Tell stories about what your song reminds you of that makes you happy.
6. Get help from professionals: Professional music therapists can help you create a personalized program to fit your clients’ or loved one’s needs.Visit the American Music Therapy Association’s website for more information about what music therapists do and how they can help.
Aspen Senior Care is dedicated to providing the best care possible to our clients with dementia and providing support and education to family caregivers of those with dementia. Please call us at 801-224-5910 or visit us at aspenseniorcare.com to find out more about the services we provide.