Why music is so important in dementia care

There’s an ever growing body of evidence that music can have a powerful influence in reducing agitation, apathy and psychological distress in people living with dementia.

Neurologist, Oliver Sacks explains, “Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other human experience. Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring with it memory.”

Musical aptitude and appreciation remain far longer than most other abilities so even into the most advanced stages of dementia, music can still provide a way of reaching beyond the disease to the person.

Recent research has found that music in its various forms can improve both a person’s physical health and mental wellbeing.

Benefits music can bring to people living with dementia

  • Improved mood
  • Reduced need for antipsychotic medication
  • Boosting confidence
  • Promoting relaxation
  • Improved awareness
  • Preserving sense of identity
  • Providing a means of reconnecting with loved ones – particularly when verbal communication becomes too difficult.

Ways to incorporate music into dementia care

So whether its listening to live or recorded music, singing along, participating in live music making, creating a personal playlist of favourite musical tracks, or undertaking music therapy with a trained therapist, there are sound reasons to incorporate music into your daytime routine.

Music for Dementia 2020

A useful source of advice is the Music for Dementia 2020 website which has the clear mission of making music available to everyone living with dementia by 2020.

The website is a central hub of information, containing evidence based research on  why music is so beneficial, and practical information on how people can engage in musical activity of one sort or another to suit them.

To find out more about the possibilities, click here to visit the Music for Dementia 2020 website.

Gresham Lodge in Scunthorpe is a specialist dementia care home with a strong, caring, community atmosphere. Care is available on a full time, respite or day care basis. Give us a ring on 01724 410042 to have a chat and find out more about our dementia specialist facilities.

Gresham Lodge