There’s lots of evidence of the benefits of music on the dementia journey. We’ve found 8 reasons to add some music to your day:
1- It’s been proven to improve mood
A scientific study of residents living in dementia care homes showed that listening to favourite music could be particularly beneficial; it helped ease agitation, anxiety and distressing behaviour. Music can also be used to create or enhance mood, so it has enormous potential.
2- It can reduce the need for medication
A massive study of more than 25,000 nursing home residents found that those who listened to a personal playlist (a list of carefully selected favourite music chosen specially for them) were ‘significantly more likely’ to no longer need anti-psychotic drugs
3- Music could slow down memory loss
Classical music can help slow down the onset of dementia, according to research. People who listened to Mozart were shown in a Finnish study to have enhanced gene activity in areas of the brain connected with memory and learning.
4- Music is a powerful emotional tool
A favourite piece of music can make anyone laugh or cry when it taps into a strong memory. Music can help people with dementia to access memories and emotions–.
5- When words fail…music still speaks
When verbal communication becomes too difficult, music can still provide a way to connect with the world.
6- Music boosts confidence
If you can’t remember what day it is, but you can still recall the words to every verse of your favourite song… you’re bound to feel good about yourself.
7- It’s very relaxing
In the later stages of dementia, music can bring more benefits and a great deal of passive pleasure. Listening to a favourite CD, could also provide a great sense of comfort and normality to a world which may otherwise seem strange and unfamiliar.
8- Music can reduce your risk of developing dementia
A study involving 157 sets of twins revealed that those who played an instrument lowered their risk of getting dementia by one third. The reasons are unclear but could be because learning to play an instrument increases the brains resilience when it faces attack.
Take a timely trip down memory lane
In need of inspiration? Celebrate the golden age of music with these fantastic artists and albums from the Sixties
It’s nearly 53 years since the legendary Brian Wilson released Pet Sounds, the album which Paul McCartney hailed ‘the greatest album ever made.’ Its youthful optimism and melodic genius is bound to stir happy feelings and strong emotions in anyone who first heard it back in 1966.
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
It’s hard to believe that more than 50 years have passed since The Beatles took the world by storm with this ground-breaking album. Every song tells a story and will undoubtedly stir a memory or two.
It’s more than 40 years since the King of Rock n Roll died at the age of only 42. The only pop star to have had number one singles in every decade, and with 57 albums to his name, it won’t be difficult to find a few that will resonate with your loved ones.
Plus: Elvis fans might also enjoy this 16-piece Elvis jigsaw (click here)
The great Glenn Campbell lived with dementia for six years, and left a hefty legacy of hits behind. From Rhinestone Cowboy to the beautiful Wichita Lineman, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Now that’s what we call great music!