Music is such a powerful force that affects people of all ages: learning the ABCs as a kid, attending your first concert or choosing the song to dance to at your wedding. Classic songs can bring back specific memories for a person who is dealing with dementia. Listening to music or playing an instrument has many benefits for dementia patients in all stages of this disease.
Music Brings Back Memories
Music ignites powerful emotions, which can bring back memories for some dementia patients. When these patients hear songs from their era, each specific song can remind them of different experiences- their wedding dance, the day their first child was born, a family road trip, etc.
Music Can Shift the Mood from Negative to Positive
There have been so many stories of how dementia patients can start the day with a bad mood, but when music from the “good old days” starts to play, they are taken back to a joyful and fun time in life. Consequently, this music that shaped their young lives can give them a positive attitude in their later years.
Music Boosts Brain Activity
The part of our brains that is stimulated when we hear music that we love is called the “salience network” and this section of our brains is rarely affected by dementia and mental illness. There are numerous examples of people whose brain activity increased when listening to music- like the man who started to communicate again after listening to songs.
Music Can Be Used as a Communication Tool with Dementia Patients
Research has shown that both visual and language memory are the first to suffer in this disease, but using music to communicate with patients can activate their brain. Caretakers can pair music with day-to-day activities so that patients can more easily develop a pattern that assists them in remembering the activity that they were doing while listening to a certain song.
Music Reduces Anxiety in Dementia Patients
Dementia patients can become easily frustrated and anxious when they can’t complete a chore or activity that they used to be able to accomplish. Putting on music, having patients dance to songs or play instruments relieves stress and can improve eye contact, engagement, etc.
As a part of our Lifelong Learning Program, we partner with MacPhail Music for Life, Northern Clay and the Bloomington Art Center to provide unique music and art therapy for our residents. Our Lifelong Learning Program promotes continued learning, encourages exploration of residents’ talents, and furthers creative expression.
Martin Luther Campus is part of the Ebenezer family of Lutheran Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care and assisted living apartments for seniors in Bloomington. We also have adult day clubs and memory care programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St. Bloomington, MN. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call us at 952.888.7751
Director of Community Relations
Hello friends, my name is Kate and I'd love to share with you ALL of the wonderful things happening at Martin Luther Campus. Be sure to check our Blog, Lifestyle page and Facebook page often to stay updated on the happenings at our community!