When your loved one is suffering from dementia, it’s easy to feel lost or hopeless. Many memory conditions – Alzheimer’s Disease, for example – worsen over time, which can be confusing and disheartening for caregivers and family members. That’s where music therapy for dementia comes in. This evidence-based practice uses music as a form of therapy for a host of conditions, dementia included. The best part? Music therapy is proven to improve many symptoms of dementia, including emotional distress, loss of speech, and feelings of isolation.
Music Therapy for Dementia
What Can I Expect from a Music Therapy Session?
First, a certified music therapist will assess your loved one’s needs. The therapist will then establish a treatment plan. Depending on the progression of your loved one’s memory condition, the treatment plan may include singing, dancing and moving, or listening to music as a form of therapy. Music therapists often come equipped with instruments or music makers like drums or shakers for your loved one to use. Additionally, many therapists will play music for your loved one on a guitar, piano, or other instrument. Finally, some music therapists involve family members in treatment programs. This allows loved ones and caregivers to express frustration and fear in a healthy way using music as an outlet.
What Effect Does Music Therapy Have on Dementia?
Using music therapy for dementia has myriad benefits. First, music therapy gives individuals an outlet outside of speech, which is helpful since speech may be challenging for some with dementia. This enhances a client’s social and family relationships, helping to assuage the feelings of isolation and anxiety often associated with memory loss. Music therapy also serves as physical rehabilitation for aging adults by promoting low-impact movement like dancing, swaying, or playing instruments. Finally, music therapy serves to reduce stress, agitation, and anxiety. Reducing those symptoms can be a major step toward improving your loved one’s quality of life.
Can Music Therapy Reverse or Cure My Loved One’s Condition?
Although many memory conditions worsen over time, music therapy has been proven to help adults with dementia recall memories or experiences. Music therapy will not reverse or cure your loved one’s condition; however, your loved one could regain memories by hearing or singing a familiar song. For example, hearing a song they danced to at their wedding can bring back a flood of cherished memories and positive feelings.
How Can I Find a Music Therapist?
Music therapists are located across the nation. If you are interested in locating a music therapist for your loved one, you can use the online search tool provided by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). If you’re having trouble locating a music therapist, you can contact AMTA at findMT@musictherapy.org. AMTA representatives will then be able to provide you with a list of certified music therapists near you.
At Waterstone on Augusta, your loved one’s quality of life is our passion. Following our guiding principles, we’re always looking for ways to keep our residents healthy and happy – like music therapy.
Located in the heart of downtown Greenville, South Carolina, Waterstone on Augusta is a premier assisted living and memory care community that offers a cozy setting and an enriching lifestyle for seniors. Our staff works diligently to get to know each resident and learn their likes and dislikes to create a customized care plan. One aspect that sets Waterstone on Augusta apart is the village-like landscape, which provides a unique experience for those who call the community home. Schedule a tour online or give us a call at 864-605-7236 to learn more about our active living community.