How to Utilize Music in Alzheimer’s Care

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How to Use Music When Caring for Seniors with Alzheimer’s in Columbus, OH

If your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, utilizing music as part of his or her care may prove to be helpful. The part of the brain responsible for making and retaining “musical memories,” which are feelings associated with hearing a particular song from the past, remains untouched by Alzheimer’s disease. A study done by researchers at the University of California, Davis found that playing familiar music to seniors with Alzheimer’s alleviated their symptoms. Utilize music as part of your loved one’s care with the following tips. 

Go to a Concert 

If your loved one is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, take him or her out to a concert featuring a favorite band or a band that covers his or her favorite songs. Researchers in the study at UC Davis found that music that was popular when seniors were 18 to 25 years old received the most positive response from participants. Do a little research and find a band that plays popular music from that era of your loved one’s life. If your loved one is in a later stage of Alzheimer’s, the lights and people at the concert may overwhelm his or her senses and cause agitation, so it’s better not to attend outdoor music events at this stage of the disease. 

Attending social events stimulates the brain, keeps older adults active, reduces loneliness, and promotes quality of life. For families living in Columbus, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Go Dancing 

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease often begin swaying, clapping, or dancing along to familiar music when they hear it, which reduces their symptoms. If your loved one is in good physical shape, he or she may enjoy an evening out dancing. The music will remind your loved one of a happy time in life, motivating him or her to move and get some exercise. Check local dance studios or senior centers to arrange a night of dancing fun. 

Encourage Playing an Instrument 

Though Alzheimer’s may prevent your loved one from remembering people and events, his or her brain may still retain the ability to play a musical instrument. A study done by scientists at the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute found seniors with Alzheimer’s could continue to skillfully play the piano even when they had severe cognitive impairment. The study looked at subjects over a one-year period. Even though the participants’ brain scans showed that cognition had decreased over the course of the year, the piano playing abilities had stayed the same. Playing the piano or another musical instrument may soothe your loved one and provide a sense of purpose. 

Studies suggest playing a musical instrument wards off symptoms of Alzheimer’s in seniors. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Columbus home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Play Different Types of Music to Jog Memory 

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease often have difficulty remembering past events, even major ones such as a birth or a wedding. Playing music while discussing these events may help. Neurologists at the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center found that playing a song that was significant to an event, such as a wedding song, may make it easier to remember the event with more clarity.

Cognitive impairment is one of the many health conditions that can make it difficult for seniors to manage everyday activities. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Columbus Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Contact us at (614) 481-8888 to learn more about our services and set up a free in-home consultation.

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