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The Benefits of Music Therapy In Elder Care for Seniors With Cognitive and Memory Impairment

Apr 27, 2017 by Comfort Keepers

Music therapy is gaining in popularity as a method to help those with memory or cognitive impairment because working with sound, rhythm and beat are all proven to allow for neural connections in the brain. If you are caring for an aging loved one or a professional home care provider, you might have heard the term already. However, do you truly know what it can do for the senior that does have issues with their memory?

Learning a new instrument, or simply listening to music to help the beloved senior in your life more comfortable. There are many benefits to music therapy but some of the most popular reasons for including it in elder care for patients with Dementia or Alzheimer’s and other memory or cognitive impairing conditions include:

Relaxation

While providing music therapy for elder care, one of the most well-known uses for music is relaxation. Whether it’s simply turning the radio on, or listening to specially designed playlists built for relaxing, there is really no end to the relaxing power of music. The soothing melodies often help to regulate heart rate and therefore blood pressure. Lowered blood pressure and heartbeat both lead to relaxation and stress relief.

Mood Improving

There’s really no end to the power of music when it comes to moods. Sometimes, even hearing the simplest melodies can soothe and improve moods. It’s best to let the patient choose their own playlist because they will have an emotional and cognitive tie to the songs.

Cognitive Function

Elder care is hard enough as it is, when you add in the fact that some seniors begin to lose cognitive function as they get older, it makes taking care of them slightly harder. A large benefit of music therapy is the fact that there have been studies that show the positive effects of music on cognitive function and memory.

Social Wellness Boost for Seniors with Dementia

Late-stage dementia patients have been shown to have memory improvements and increase in overall social wellness simply by having their own playlists that are created by friends or family. The goal for these patients has been to include familiar songs that they don’t have to reach into their memory to restore the song. Instead, the brain is hardwired to be able to access these memories without the same functions that are required for restoring actual visual memories.

These are just a few of many benefits of music therapy and it they go to show as to why this kind of treatment is so beneficial. Seniors at all stages of memory or cognitive loss can benefit from music therapy, but it is definitely something that is better when started early. The earlier you can incorporate music into the elder care plan, the more benefit that the individual will get from the therapy. 

 

Comfort Keepers offers in home care and senior care to the surrounding areas of Minnesota:

Minneapolis, Edina, Mounds View, New Brighton, Golden Valley, Roseville, Crystal, Columbia Heights, New Hope, Fridley, Brooklyn Center, W. Coon Rapids, Hopkins, Nokomis, Minnetonka, Champlin, St. Louis Park, New Hope, Brooklyn Park, Wayzata, Orono, Plymouth, Mound and Shorewood MN.

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