Aside from playing songs and music CDs, dementia patients can also learn to play an instrument together. Even if the patient cannot play the instrument, you can learn it together and improvise a style. Whether the patient chooses a familiar song or improvises a new one, learning and playing an instrument will help them focus on the music. This activity stimulates all areas of the brain, allowing the patient to focus on the music rather than on the physical gestures.
While it’s not possible to create a custom playlist for your loved one, there are some resources available to help you create a dementia-friendly playlist. The Alzheimer’s Association offers several dementia-friendly playlists, broken down by era, genre and geography. While these playlists can be a great starting point, you can also create your own by combining several genres. For example, you can create a playlist for the person living with dementia and play music from the era they lived through.
The positive effects of dementia music are many and can be profound. The music may “awaken” a patient. A patient may be able to say only a single word, but after listening to music, they may begin to speak and interact with others more. Music can increase mood and cognition, while helping the patient bond with their loved ones. In addition, music can hold the patient’s attention for hours. Whether it’s classical, country or pop, it can provide a great deal of happiness.
According to the study, music increases brain activity and blood flow in certain areas of the brain, including the salience network. This suggests that the brain networks in these regions were communicating, preventing cognitive decline. While the results were promising, the sample size for this study was small, and the study cannot prove its effectiveness over the long run. However, there is more evidence that music can help with the symptoms of dementia. In addition, research has shown that music can help people cope with feelings of isolation and depression.
Increasing the patient’s mood and boosting cognitive abilities is one of the most significant benefits of music therapy for dementia patients. It reduces depression, anxiety, and agitation, and can even improve the patient’s balance and coordination. A patient’s favorite pieces can trigger memory and help them focus during the night. It’s important to note, however, that the music should be familiar to the patient and should be free of commercials. The commercials can confuse a patient and reduce their enjoyment of the music.Song sheets can help them sing along with their old favorites.
There is only a small amount of evidence to suggest that dementia music therapy can improve cognitive function and lower levels of chronic depression. The quality of life of patients, however, was found to be improved as a result of music therapy, according to a meta-analysis of five trials that involved 816 patients. In addition, the research did not uncover any long-term effects, which suggests that music therapy is still something that should be considered. A successful clinical trial should use established protocols for patients, and those protocols should be tailored to each patient’s stage of dementia.