Music therapy for people with dementia

If you’ve ever listened to a song that brought a tear to your eye, evoked a memory, or brought you closer to someone, you already know that music is a powerful force. But for people diagnosed with dementia, it has the ability to access parts of the brain that may be inaccessible through language. 

In this post, we discuss dementia care in Chadwell Heath, Romford and the power of music therapy. 

More about dementia 

Dementia is a progressive disease that causes abnormal changes in the brain. This can affect a person’s ability to think, remember, reason, communicate and problem-solve, ultimately leading to a decline in cognitive function. Symptoms of dementia can interfere with daily life and a person’s ability to do things independently. A person with dementia may also display abrupt mood swings, changes in behaviour, confusion, and disorientation. Although it mainly affects people over the age of 65, it is not considered a normal part of ageing. There is currently no cure for dementia but there are ways to continue enjoying a rich and fulfilling life, despite the diagnosis. 

The power of music

Music has the power to help people with dementia connect with their memories in a way that is impossible using language. It does this by stimulating different parts of the brain than speech. This makes it an alternative way to communicate for individuals whose speech is affected by dementia. For example, a song from the good old days can bring a person down memory lane, reminding them of a particular time in their life. Music can also be a tool for people with dementia to express themselves and connect with others through song rather than words. 

What is music therapy?

Music therapy uses sound and music to access parts of the brain that language cannot. It can help a person express their feelings, shift their mood and recall certain memories. It can also bring our residents together, helping reduce any feelings of social isolation they may be experiencing. If dance is incorporated into the routine, music therapy can even encourage physical exercise. 

Our trusted dementia care services

The beauty of music therapy is that it can take many different forms. Our dementia care services centre around not only listening to music but also interacting and engaging with it. Some musical therapy activities for dementia include listening to music from a particular decade during their life and asking questions about the emotions the songs inspire. Nursery rhymes or songs from childhood tend to be deeply ingrained in our memories and can be extremely powerful. We can also create personal playlists for people based on their favourite songs. These can then be played when they need cheering up or calming down. In addition, we encourage our residents to get involved whether that be by clapping their hands, stomping their feet or simply nodding along to the beat. We encourage family and friends to get involved too and share in the joy that music brings.

Get in touch

If you or a loved one are interested in receiving dementia care at Rowallan House, our staff is here for you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch or call us on either 0800 999 8499 or 0208 597 4175. We would be happy to answer any of your questions or provide more information on how we can help.