6 Ways Music Can Benefit People With Alzheimer’s Disease

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Music has been proven to have a beneficial effect on people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Aside from providing fun and enjoyment, music can also help in other ways, according to umh.org and alzheimers.net.

Music helps to bring back memories and emotions. 
Everyone has favorite songs that remind them of special times in their lives and those living with Alzheimer’s are no different. Playing some of their favorite songs from their past, particularly their late teens and early 20s, can help them to recall some of their happier moments.

Ability to listen to and enjoy music is one of the last remaining cognitive skills in advanced Alzheimer’s patients. 
It’s been proven that even when other cognitive skills have declined, advanced Alzheimer’s patients still have the aptitude to appreciate music.

MORE: Music and memory program decreases medication use and improves dementia symptoms. 

Music can help Alzheimer’s patients reconnect with their loved ones. 
Because music can evoke such positive emotions, it can help Alzheimer’s patients share moments of joy with their loved ones. If they are able to dance, this can often lead to them wanting to embrace their loved ones which helps them to feel more secure.

Singing helps to engage the brain. 
The right side of the brain is used to listen to music, but to sing along requires the left side of the brain to become engaged. Alzheimer’s patients who participate in sing-along sessions can exercise both sides of their brain while enjoying the moment.

MORE: Music therapy for Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Music can help manage stress. 
Music has the ability to lift a person’s mood and make them feel less stressed and agitated. This is because listening to music or singing along to music releases happy chemicals from the brain such as serotonin, melatonin, and prolactin.

Can be used to set the mood. 
A fast song can help to raise spirits and make people happy, whereas a slower song can help people to relax and calm down any agitation an Alzheimer’s patient may be experiencing.

MORE: Six future tests that could help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier.

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