Dementia is a frightening disease, and the loss of the ability to communicate is incredibly frustrating for sufferers. In recent years, however, a breakthrough in dementia care has been discovered in art, and in particular, music.
How music affects us.
Music actually affects you in a physiological way – from the rhythm that your heart will literally begin to sync to. The emotional layer of listening to music comes from the tone. Have you ever noticed when listening to music in a foreign language that you can still interpret the singer’s feelings? That’s because our brains can pick out the tones and understand them – hence the phrase music is an international language. This is particularly important for someone with dementia who may be struggling with ordinary verbal communication.
Music as a mood-booster.
So if listening to music can affect your heart rate, it must have some compelling uses for managing a state of stress. For example, a piece of soothing classical music could bring a heart rate down and deliver calmness to the very core of the body. Alternatively, upbeat pop music could help to wake the senses and get you excited and positive. Athletes have been manipulated this method for ages, with favourite motivational songs to get in the zone. So next time the senior you care for is having a difficult time and feeling frustrated, angry, or sad, try playing music for them that will help to calm or enhance their mood.
Music and Dementia
Music can provide incredibly soothing effects for dementia sufferers, who may find much of their world confusing and even overwhelming at times. Music has been proven to calm and comfort dementia sufferers, even at the most advanced stages of the disease. And the best part is that music is such a simple and accessible, non-medical solution to the disease. All you have to do is hit play.