How to Utilize Music in Alzheimer’s Care

Tips for Using Music When Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

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If your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, utilizing music as part of his or her care may prove to be helpful. The part of the brain responsible for making and retaining “musical memories,” which are feelings associated with hearing a particular song from the past, remains untouched by Alzheimer’s disease. A study done by researchers at the University of California, Davis found that playing familiar music to seniors with Alzheimer’s alleviated their symptoms. Utilize music as part of your loved one’s care with the following tips.  

Go to a Concert  

If your loved one is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, take him or her out to a concert featuring a favorite band or a band that covers his or her favorite songs. Researchers in the study at UC Davis found that music that was popular when seniors were 18 to 25 years old received the most positive response from participants. Do a little research and find a band that plays popular music from that era of your loved one’s life. If your loved one is in a later stage of Alzheimer’s, the lights and people at the concert may overwhelm his or her senses and cause agitation, so it’s better not to attend outdoor music events at this stage of the disease.  

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Fremont families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.


Go Dancing  

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease often begin swaying, clapping, or dancing along to familiar music when they hear it, which reduces their symptoms. If your loved one is in good physical shape, he or she may enjoy an evening out dancing. The music will remind your loved one of a happy time in life, motivating him or her to move and get some exercise. Check local dance studios or senior centers to arrange a night of dancing fun.

Dancing and socializing can boost quality of life in the golden years. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.


Encourage Playing an Instrument  

Though Alzheimer’s may prevent your loved one from remembering people and events, his or her brain may still retain the ability to play a musical instrument. A study done by scientists at the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute found seniors with Alzheimer’s could continue to skillfully play the piano even when they had severe cognitive impairment. The study looked at subjects over a one-year period. Even though the participants’ brain scans showed cognition had decreased over the course of the year, the piano playing abilities had stayed the same. Playing the piano or another musical instrument may soothe your loved one and provide a sense of purpose. 


Play Different Types of Music to Jog Memory  

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease often have difficulty remembering past events, even major ones such as a birth or a wedding. Playing music while discussing these events may help. Neurologists at the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center found that playing a song that was significant to an event, such as a wedding song, may make it easier to remember the event with more clarity. 

If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Fremont seniors can rely on us to promote their cognitive health and help them delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. We also encourage seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and help them build new routines to look forward to. To learn more about or high-quality Alzheimer’s and dementia home care, call us today.