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How can the power of music help those affected by Dementia?

7th Nov 2016

Care homes report that residents are happier and more engaged after listening to music or taking part in a music based activity. But what exactly is it about music therapy that is bringing such joy to the older members of our community?

 

Music is used to help bring long forgotten memories into the foreground, particularly for those affected by Dementia. It is thought that music is able to reach parts of the brain that other forms of communication may not. It can help patients to recall memories and emotions which bring feelings of emotional and physical closeness to patients and their carers.

 

Client listens to music through a tablet computer

Client listens to music through a tablet computer

 

When listening to music, playing an instrument or singing our brains are stimulated and exercised, this can help somebody with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia retain a sense of identity and self-esteem. It can be anything from opera to jazz and music from musicals, ideally a genre that the listener particularly enjoys.

 

Professor Paul Robertson, academic and concert violist has spent many years studying the effects of music on both the body and the brain, focusing in on those affected by dementia. He believed that music is the key to accessing memories that can appear lost thus helping dementia patients reconnect both with themselves and others while the music is playing.

 

At Bridgewater Day Care our primary focus is the mental and physical wellbeing of our clients, and we go above and beyond to help those living with a form of dementia to feel happiness and joy and to experience these moments of connection. We have recently invested in Bluetooth headsets which can be pre-programmed to each individual’s particular tastes, providing the opportunity to listen to the music of their choice. We frequently have a local school choir to visit, as well as having sing a longs, tea dances and other activities to enable our clients to have as much access as possible to the wonderful benefits that music brings.

 

If you would like know to more about how we use music in our Golborne based day care centre, or to talk about to our professional team about any of the services we offer, please do get in touch on 01942 723 115 or email info@bridgewaterdaycare.co.uk.