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How music helps with Dementia

Updated: Jun 21

Elderly people singing

The power of music is fantastic for someone living with Dementia. Especially singing unlocks memories of enjoyment and kick starts the grey matter which is an increasingly key feature in Dementia care.

Music/singing reaches parts of the damaged brain in ways other forms of communication can’t. It encourages stimulation and communication when other methods are difficult leading to feelings of happiness, improved mood, and a better quality of life.

Singing for the Brain is run by the Alzheimer’s Society in over 30 different locations nationwide where it:

  • Aims to boost confidence

  • Boosts Self-esteem

  • Assists quality of life by involving people living with Dementia and their carers in interactive sing-song sessions

  • Enhances Memory Recall:- Listening to familiar songs or musical tunes stimulates recall centre’s within the brain and encourages memories associated with these songs/melodies

You can see the enjoyment and animation when they are engaging with you in the following ways:

  • When someone can’t communicate, they show the expression on their face by smiling which reaches their eyes, and singing along to the tunes knowing the words

  • When they get up and dance. These are some of the musicals and movies where you get the best response of engagement:

    • Sound of music

    • When you wish upon a star (from Pinocchio)

    • Somewhere over the Rainbow (From the Wizard of Oz)

Music helps with dementia by improving emotional wellness. Playing and actively listening to music on multiple sensory channels facilitates connection becoming calming activity helping the mind rest, yet remaining alert with each audio stimulus qis known to increase relaxation leading to lower heart rates and reducing anxiety. Also, general cheer can be noticed around upbeat melodies creating a safe space, to decrease feelings of agitation causing harm to oneself!

If you have any questions about Dementia and caring for someone who has Dementia, get in touch with our team so we can help you find out a way forward.


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