Music can be very soothing, and it can also have a strong impact on memory. It’s especially helpful for older adults with Alzheimer’s who have also been diagnosed with mood disorders. Here are some ways music can help your senior loved one better manage Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
Brings Back Pleasant Memories
Listening to favorite songs often brings back pleasant memories, even in seniors with severe cognitive deficits. The part of the brain associated with music memories is thought to be the least affected by memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Your loved one may remember his or her favorite songs from many years ago. If your loved one appears sad or angry, play a favorite song, and his or her mood may brighten.
For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Anchorage families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s care needs.
Makes Exercising Fun
Aerobic exercise provides health benefits for people with Alzheimer’s by promoting cardiovascular health and enhancing blood flow in the cerebrovascular system and the brain. While the benefits of exercise are many, older adults with cognitive impairment may be repelled by it. Even when they do exercise, they may quickly get bored and stop. Playing upbeat music may prompt your loved one to exercise or dance to the beat, which gets the heart pumping so he or she can reap the benefits of a stronger cardiovascular system.
If your loved one enjoys dancing to music at home, consider enrolling him or her in an aerobic exercise or dance class offered by your local park district or a senior center. While exercise is important, always check with your loved one’s physician before starting a new exercise routine.
Older adults with Alzheimer’s sometimes experience anxiety and depression. They may also occasionally demonstrate aggressive behavior in the later stages of the disease. Music helps older adults with Alzheimer’s enjoy better moods so they can relax and sleep better at night. Listening to soothing music an hour or so before bedtime helps the brain release endorphins, which are also known as “feel-good” chemicals. Listening to music can induce sleep and prevent your loved one from waking up multiple times during the night.
A professional caregiver with training and experience in cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful resource for seniors with Alzheimer’s. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Encourages Greater Food Intake
Many older adults with Alzheimer’s don’t eat enough to maintain optimal nutrition. If eating problems persist, your loved one may develop a nutritional deficiency. Interventions to get your loved one to eat may yield poor results, but playing music during mealtimes may result in greater food intake. Listening to music may also result in higher fluid intake, which is important for seniors who are at risk for dehydration.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Anchorage Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call (907) 770-0907 today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager to formulate a home care plan for your loved one.