It's World Music Day, or Fete de la Musique, today, which makes it a good time to talk about the benefits of music and dementia.
The benefit music can have on improving symptoms of dementia is well documented and frequently noted. Linda Maguire notes that musical aptitude and appreciation are the two of the last remaining abilities in patients with Alzheimer's.
This lends to the idea that music can be frequently used in the care of those with dementia, helping in three areas:
- Mood Music can reduce anxiety and depression, especially when enjoyed with close friends and family members. It can also be used during personal care and stressful tasks like getting dressed to calm the patient.
- Expression Music can help maintain speech and language, as well as giving an outlet for feelings and ideas that can transcend the need for lost speech.
- Enjoyment Above all, music can be a great source for enjoyment and entertainment.
It's important to note that dementia patients respond better to personalised music, so if that's not know, it can be helpful to start with popular or well known songs from their 20s-30s and see which they respond well to.