Ongoing mental stimulation is especially important for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. A fun way to provide this type of stimulation is with music. Seniors with Alzheimer’s generally prefer tunes that were popular when they were between the ages of 18 and 25, since long-term memories often remain firmly entrenched in the brain even when short-term recollection is affected. Here’s a closer look at some of the reasons music is good for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease.
1. Cognitive Abilities May Increase
A 2014 study involving people with dementia found participants who were actively engaged in singing and other forms of music-related activities scored higher on cognitive ability and satisfaction tests. Another study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine involving 60 individuals with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s reported similar positive cognitive and behavioral results related to music therapy.
2. Music Makes Daily Activities Easier to Do
According to Alzheimers.net, music brings back fond memories for those with Alzheimer’s. It also helps them regain a sense of rhythm. If you pair music with your aging loved one’s daily activities, it could help him or her associate those activities with pleasant memories, which could result in less difficulty with accomplishing certain tasks.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an in-home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
3. Music-Related Abilities Aren’t Affected Until Much Later
There’s evidence showing musical aptitude and appreciation are among the last cognitive abilities affected by Alzheimer’s disease, which means music—whether it involves simply passively listening, singing along to favorite songs, or playing an instrument—is something your loved one should be able to benefit from even in the later stages of Alzheimer’s.
4. Music Encourages Closeness & Bonding
In the late stages of Alzheimer’s, it can be difficult for caregivers to break through the veil created by this disease. With music, you can still stay connected with your loved one even when he or she reaches the point of having difficulty communicating or sharing emotions. And as long as your loved one is still ambulatory, dancing to his or her favorite music could lead to hugs and other nonverbal expressions.
A professional caregiver can also bond with your loved one while listening to music. Anchorage homecare professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
5. Mood May Receive a Boost
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America notes that, when used appropriately, music therapy can boost mood as seniors become more easily agitated. Specifically, instrumental tunes and jazz tend to reduce stress and agitation, although any type of music your loved one finds enjoyable can have similar benefits. There’s also evidence that a shift to a more positive and agreeable mood resulting from music-related activities could contribute to:
• Positive personal and social interactions
• Less stress and anxiety
• Fewer issues with unexpected mood swings
6. Multiple Areas of the Brain Are Activated
There’s evidence that different methods of enjoying music can stimulate activity in all parts of the brain. In one study involving seniors with dementia, it was discovered that:
• Singing activated areas in the left side of the brain
• Music-related activities also stimulated parts of the right side of the brain
• Watching a music class activated visual areas of the brain
Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Anchorage Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (907) 770-0907 today.