Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a reversible condition. Still, this doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make life better if you have a senior loved one with this form of dementia. One of the more unique options involves what’s sometimes termed music therapy. Let’s take a moment to explore six ways music can be beneficial for seniors with Alzheimer’s.
1. Brings Back Pleasant Memories
Parts of the brain that contain long-term memories are hardwired differently than the areas that process and store short-term memories, which is why music has the power to bring back favourite memories for seniors with Alzheimer’s. With this purpose in mind, listening to music with a senior with Alzheimer’s could involve:
• Playing songs you know your loved one enjoys
• Singing the words to favourite songs together
• Taking your loved one to concerts or watching musicals with songs you know he or she likes
2. Stimulates the Brain
Music can do more than just bring back pleasant memories for older adults with Alzheimer’s. It also boosts activity in the right side of the brain, which is where music awareness happens. Thus, both sides of the brain are stimulated at the same time, providing the opportunity to enhance left brain functions, including analytical thought, logic, and reasoning.
A professional care worker with training and experience in cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful resource for seniors with Alzheimer’s. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, North Coast families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated care workers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s care needs.
3. Offsets Later-Day Agitation
During the later stages of Alzheimer’s, memory loss is often combined with agitation and similar behavioural issues. Such behaviour tends to be more noticeable during the later parts of the day. However, if you play soothing or familiar music for your loved one during the times of day when he or she tends to become agitated, your parent may be able to remain calm when eating, bathing, and doing other activities.
4. Eases Stress
The changes that occur with behaviour and memory as Alzheimer’s progresses can be stressful for both seniors and their carers. Music boosts the release of chemicals, such as serotonin and melatonin, which naturally ease stress and anxiety. On a related note, participants in a ten-week pilot study conducted at a Melbourne dementia care facility appeared happier and more relaxed when listening to music.
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 in-home care North Coast, NSW, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
5. Provides Something to Enjoy
Even after other cognitive skills have significantly decreased, the ability to comprehend and appreciate music remains in place. You can take comfort from knowing that when your loved one is having difficulty with other cognitive abilities, he or she will be able to find enjoyment with music.
6. Helps with Communication and Personal Connections
As Alzheimer’s advances, it can also become more difficult for seniors with this condition to express themselves, which sometimes leads to frustration. However, when listening to a favourite tune, your loved one can clap, nod his or her head, and make other movements and expressions that show how he or she feels. When your loved one is in an expressive mood while listening to music, you may be able to reconnect with him or her by:
• Exchanging hugs
• Dancing together, if he or she is still mobile
• Sharing smiles and holding hands
• Starting conversations when certain music triggers memories
If your ageing loved one has Alzheimer’s, compassionate professional aged 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 carers 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. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (02) 6646 3527 to learn about our flexible in-home aged care plans.