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Why music is so important in dementia care

There’s an ever growing body of evidence that music can have a powerful influence in improving mood, and reducing agitation, apathy and psychological distress in people living with dementia. 

Neurologist, Oliver Sacks, explains, “Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other human experience. Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring with it memory.”

Musical aptitude and appreciation remain far longer than most other abilities so even into the most advanced stages of dementia, music can still provide a way of reaching beyond the disease to the person.

This is backed up by recent research which has found that music in its various forms can improve both a person’s physical health and their mental wellbeing.

Benefits music can bring to people living with dementia 

  • Improved mood
  • Reduced need for antipsychotic medication
  • Boosting confidence
  • Promoting relaxation
  • Improved awareness
  • Preserving sense of identity
  • Providing a means of reconnecting with loved ones – particularly when verbal communication becomes too difficult.

Ways to incorporate music into dementia care

Whether its listening to live or recorded music, singing along, participating in live music making, creating a personal playlist of favourite musical tracks, or undertaking music therapy with a trained therapist, there are many easy ways to incorporate music into your daytime routine.

A useful source of advice is the Music for Dementia website which has the clear mission of making music easy to access for everyone living with dementia.

The website is a central hub of information, containing evidence based research on  why music is so beneficial, and practical information on how people can engage in musical activity of one sort or another to suit them.

To find out more about the possibilities, visit https://musicfordementia.org.uk/

Quarry Mount is a dementia specialist care home and our staff are both knowledgeable and experienced in delivering expert care to those living with dementia. To find out how we could help simply give us a ring on 01793 250455.


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