Health

4 things to know about music therapy

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Whether you like “singing in the rain” or “climbing every mountain” or “putting on your red shoes and dancing off the blues,” music impacts us, especially as we age.

Even when other therapies fail to help dementia patients interact with others, music has been shown to reach these people suffering from a decline in mental ability, including memory loss that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia, according to Alzheimers.org.

Four facts explain the value of music therapy:

1. “A recent study shows that dementia and Alzheimer’s patients can recall memories and emotions, and have enhanced mental performance, after singing classic hits and show tunes from movies and musicals – a breakthrough in understanding how music affects those with dementia and Alzheimer’s,” reports Alzheimer’s.net.

2. Music evokes emotions that bring memories. “By pairing music with everyday activities, patients can develop a rhythm that helps them recall the memory of that activity, improving cognitive ability over time.”

4. Music aptitude and appreciation are two abilities that remain with dementia patients, even after other abilities have faded away. “Music is an excellent way to reach beyond the disease and reach the person,” says Alzheimers.net.

3. “Music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements,” the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America reports.

To help dementia patients engage in music, experts recommend choosing a preferred genre, or selecting popular music from classics such as “The Sound of Music” or Disney favorites. They urge caregivers to continue encouraging dementia sufferers, and try to engage them through music and singing, which are beneficial, inexpensive, and effective ways to enjoy life.

Fox Point : 3300 Charles J. Miler Memorial Highway, McHenry, IL 60050 : 815.322.7166 : http://www.seniorlifestyles.com/foxpoint.

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