Listening to music can provide numerous physical and psychological benefits for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Among other things, music is thought to enhance brain activity in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Here are five other ways music helps seniors with Alzheimer’s.
1. Evokes Pleasant Memories
It’s thought that musical memories don’t get lost, even in advanced cases of Alzheimer’s disease. If you know any special songs your elderly loved one enjoyed prior to the Alzheimer’s diagnosis, play them for him or her. Music may also enhance the memory.
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2. Provides Benefits Related to Singing
Seniors with Alzheimer’s who sing may enjoy better moods. Singing favorite songs also brings back memories and may decrease aggressive behavior in those prone to outbursts. Also, singing promotes restful sleep patterns and may substantially enrich your loved one’s life. To further enhance the singing experience, encourage your loved one to clap or play a makeshift instrument, if you don’t have a real one. If your loved one is able to leave the home, consider taking him or her to a senior center in your community. There, your loved one will have the opportunity to sing and interact with others, which can further enhance the singing experience.
3. Promotes Exercise Through Dancing
Movement and aerobic exercise are important for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Dancing to music, either alone or with a dance partner, is a favorite activity of elderly people who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Music makes those with cognitive deficits want to get up and move, which is essential, especially for seniors with depression, loneliness, or social isolation.
A professional caregiver with training and experience in cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful resource for seniors with Alzheimer’s. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care Mesa, AZ, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Relieves Pain
Because music and movement often go hand in hand, it’s thought that music may be an effective method of pain relief. Seniors with Alzheimer’s don’t need to dance to enjoy the pain-relieving benefits of music. Simply swaying in a chair or clapping can promote circulation and relax sore muscles. Also, music is thought to decrease the perception of pain, so even if it does little to relieve the actual physical pain, your loved one may feel it less. Music promotes the secretion of certain brain chemicals known as endorphins, which are also known as “feel-good” hormones.
5. Increases Communication
Seniors with Alzheimer’s, especially those in the advanced stages, may be closed off to the rest of the world. Their affects may be flat, and they may rarely, if ever, smile, laugh, or seem to understand what people are saying. Music may break through the lack of emotion and poor cognitive ability when all other options have failed. When seniors with Alzheimer’s are able to display positive emotions, it can be life changing. Communication through music is a unique way to express joy and happiness when your loved one is unable to express these emotions in any other way.
If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, compassionate professional care is available. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (480) 699-4899.