The Elms Blog

Music’s Powerful Effect in All Stages of Memory Care

Sep 8, 2018

Producing Measureable Improvements in the Quality of Life for Memory Care Patients

In our ceaseless quest to improve the lives of our Memory Care residents, the Elms expert staff continually explores many aspects of caring for your loved ones with well researched techniques to soothe, comfort, and in some cases, improve cognition. Here’s some insightful information our Memory Care team has been keeping up with.

We all know that music has the power to move people, but recent studies document the therapeutic benefits for seniors with memory loss. Music Therapy is accepted by the scientific community as a low-cost method to help alleviate common debilitating effects of dementia, and in particular Alzheimer’s Disease, including:

  • Improving cognition and communication
  • Reducing depression, anxiety, and mood swings

Music Reaches Beyond Memory Loss

Music Therapy is most beneficial as a therapy in early stages of Alzheimer’s, although research shows evidence of benefits even for advanced cases. Many researchers believe that music’s ability to evoke emotions is the key to triggering memories and associations.

And, just as music is an effective learning tool (we all know the ABC song), connecting daily activities with music can improve cognitive ability over time. Patient’s personal music preference is an important factor in Music Therapy, whether used by family caregivers at home or by trained professionals in an assisted living or memory loss community.

Emotional and Physical Breakthroughs

Amazing “awakenings” have been documented in patients with advanced Alzheimer’s, including seniors who have been uncommunicative for years. This popular video documents not only the initial patient reaction, but the lasting effects that patients experience.

In addition to improving the quality of life for seniors, it is undoubtedly a positive change for family members. Regardless of the stage of the disease, whether it is the sudden liveliness of an unresponsive loved one in a managed care community or the positive attitude changes that can make at home care easier and much more pleasant, a properly implemented Music Therapy strategy can help relieve the emotional toll that memory loss takes.

Sparking Brain Activity

Brain activity is boosted when listening to music, but incorporating music-related activities can really amp things up. Studies show that singing, dancing, or playing instruments in combination with a proper Music Therapy strategy can improve cognitive abilities, such as attention span, memory and reasoning, and also reduce depression, anxiety, and agitation.

All activities must be based on the personal preference and physical endurance of each patient.

Music Therapy at The Elms

Professional Music Therapy is one of the musically-inspired methods our caring and dedicated staff is exploring help our residents manage memory loss. If you would like to learn more about our assisted living or dedicated memory care communities, please give us a call at (401) 596-4630 or contact us by email to arrange a tour.

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