As our nation continues to age, dementia becomes one of the premier social care challenges of the 21st century. Luckily, breakthroughs have been made and one of those breakthroughs is music. Even in our lives’ now, a soft melody can be powerful enough to boost our mood. Listening to a familiar song is just as powerful as seeing a familiar face. Music does wonders for us, and similarly, for those with dementia.
The beauty of music is that a specific song can be associated with a specific emotion or memory. This can best be seen in people who are in their later stages of dementia. Those in the later stages of dementia have a tough time recognizing family, yet a familiar song can evoke powerful memories.
If your senior loved one is still in the earlier stages of dementia, try asking them about some of their favorite songs. Write down their responses and create a playlist for them. It can prove to be very useful over the course of their dementia.
Music can also be used to calm down patients. It has been noted that a person with dementia, when given the opportunity to pick their own music, becomes less agitated throughout the week. This also a good activity to try if your loved one is in a bad mood.
Again, ask about their favorite music. It’s a very personable subject for most people. Often times, it feels like we don’t select the music we like, it selects us, which creates a very special relationship when it comes to people and art. Play these special songs for your senior loved one. You might just see their mood increase as each song gets played.
Be aware that music also has the ability to decrease their mood and make them agitated; so be prudent with your song selection. However, music has a strong place in most peoples’ lives. There has been a strong showing that musical therapy does wonders for anyone, whether they have dementia or not. It’s a wonderful activity for any caregiver and their caree, and it’ll help you get to know a loved one even better!
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