We have heard music soothes the soul but researchers and music therapists believe it does much more. The mind and body benefit especially in those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
What Is Music Therapy?
Using music as therapy has been practiced for hundreds of years. There are an estimated 7,000 board-certified music therapists in the United States and music therapy is a recognized medical profession.
Music therapy is used in two forms: passive and active. Listening to music to engage the brain is considered passive. Active therapy is when music is created or motivates movement and engages the patient. This is done by singing, playing an instrument or encouraging motor movement such as tapping one’s toes.
Why Is Music Therapy Effective for Dementia?
Music therapy often reaches patients who no longer respond to other forms of stimuli, helping them connect to loved ones and maintain a higher quality of life. The sound of music alone has proven to be beneficial to those with Dementia. Documented studies show music therapy revives senses in those with Dementia. A brain interprets music by awakening and invigorating neuropathways. Music triggers memories or positive associations. There have been instances of people with Alzheimer’s regaining speech or motor skills after being exposed to music therapy.
The following list shows benefits of music therapy when used for Dementia or Alzheimer patients.
- Improved memory
- Enhanced social interactions
- Reduced emotional stress
- Improved vocal and motor function
- Positive connections with family members
- Awareness of self and environment
Improving Quality of Life through Music Therapy
Music therapists understand not everyone has the same response to music therapy. Unlike medications and other types of therapies there are no risks to the patient with music therapy. Music in its most basic form provides a pleasant experience and improves quality of life.
Seniors and families are assisted by Bridge to Better Living® to find the community best fitting their lifestyle and needs. Our consultants know the communities offering the most innovative approach when caring for Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients including music therapy. Contact Bridge to Better Living® today to learn more.