Research shows music can provide emotional and behavioral benefits for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Listening to music, playing an instrument, clapping or singing can reduce agitation and trigger past memories and is an excellent way for caregivers or family members to connect with their loved one.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers these five tips to incorporating music into your activities.
At The Memory Centers in Richmond and Virginia Beach, our activities program is grounded in the Montessori-based principles of respect, dignity, independence and choice. All activities are designed with three A’s in mind to ensure they are:
- Available across all levels of dementia
- Accessed and easily implemented by all staff
- Adaptable to fit the residents age, interest or other abilities
We incorporate music including dancing, playing instruments or listening to music while holding objects such as flags, director batons, maracas, drums, bells, tambourines to encourage motion. Lyrics are projected on our movie screen with pictures or icons to help with memory, and we may feature entertainers representing various types of music.
We also encourage families to provide an iPod or CD with their loved ones favorite songs. Every day we see the joy listening to familiar music brings to those living with Alzheimer’s.
If you are a caring for someone in cognitive decline we encourage you to incorporate music into your daily activities. You, and your loved one, will be glad you did.
Get more ideas for daily activities that inspire purpose in those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.