Dementia music therapy has many benefits, including unlocking old memories and emotions. Pairing the music with daily activities can improve cognitive ability. People who listen to music are more engaged with it, activating more brain cells than normal. Listening to music improves mood, relieves stress, and stimulates motor and cognitive functions. Even simple tasks can become more fun when paired with music. If done properly, dementia music therapy can help the patients reconnect with their families.
Using a mixed-methods design, this study compared the effects of music therapy on residents with dementia. Participants were recruited from the music therapy referral list of their care home. During the initial assessment, dementia patients were evaluated for inclusion or exclusion. Those without the required criteria were put on a waiting list. Once the participants were recruited, informed consent was obtained from their next-of-kin, and they were randomly allocated to either the intervention or the control group. Demographic and medication information were collected and the Global Deterioration Scale scores were calculated after discussion with keyworkers.
The program involved engaging residents in joint music-making. Improvisatory music-making was not a formal jazz or classical concert, but rather a process of free collaboration between the resident and the therapist. Residents were encouraged to play the instruments freely and explore the sounds. A conversational element was also included, similar to psychotherapy sessions. The residents were encouraged to recall memories and express their feelings. During these sessions, the therapist would adjust the spoken utterance to suit the individual.
Research in this area suggests that dementia music therapy is a helpful treatment. It provides stimulation and a sense of belonging for patients. Music also improves cognitive functioning, hand coordination, and memory. Music is powerful, connecting people and easing depression. A variety of studies have shown the benefits of music therapy in dementia patients. So, consider dementia music therapy for your loved one. You’ll be happy you chose this route. It can make your life better.
Using music to create a mood can be fun and beneficial for caregivers and loved ones. Playing slow, relaxing music can help promote calm and reduce sundowning, while upbeat, uplifting songs can evoke happy memories. Remember to keep the music volume low enough to minimize distractions. You can also sing along with your loved one. There are many benefits to dementia music therapy. If you can’t find a music therapy that works for you, consider using a rainstick. A rainstick is a hollow piece of wood filled with beads or pebbles that makes a sound that resembles rain. Another musical option is the xylophone or guitar.
One study showed that music therapy improved MMSE scores significantly. The effects were consistent throughout the study period, with only language scores showing a significant difference between the baseline and final scores. Similarly, NPI scores decreased in almost all domains, and the decreases between the two follow-up scores were not significant. Music therapy did improve the depression and anxiety subscales of the HADS. The effect size was large. Further studies are needed to validate these results.