How Can Music Benefit Elderly People with Alzheimer’s?

By Mark Schmidt, 9:00 am on November 4, 2019

Everyone loves a good song, and seniors grew up singing and dancing to their favorite tunes. Now that your aging loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, it helps to know that one of his or her favorite activities is also good for helping him or her retain certain abilities. As you hit the play button on your loved one’s favorite music player, keep these benefits of listening to a melody in mind to inspire you to do it every day.

Stimulates Multiple Parts of the Brain at the Same Time

Alzheimer’s disease can affect different parts of the brain and cause symptoms that range from memory loss to the inability to put together a coherent sentence. One of the reasons music is so beneficial for people with this condition is that it activates the different areas in the brain that control functions related to the five senses. For instance, your loved one will be listening to the music at the same time he or she uses the sense of touch to tap out a beat. Stimulating more than one sense at a time helps the brain develop its ability to process multiple pieces of information at once.

For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Tucson families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s care needs.

Triggers Memories of the Past

Most people have at least one or two songs that remind them of special moments in their lives. Seniors may remember songs they heard during the first date with their spouse or songs they sang to their young children. Even songs from a specific genre can inspire fond memories of times gone by. Take a look at your loved one’s music collection to see if there are any songs that seem especially appealing. You can also think about the songs your loved one used to sing when he or she was younger or just pick a popular track from his or her youth, then play these songs and watch your loved one’s reaction. It’s quite possible that something your loved one hears will remind him or her of a cherished memory.

Helps Seniors Remember Information from the Present

In addition to eliciting precious memories, music can help seniors remember things they need to do in their current life. Try turning a simple set of steps into an easy song you can sing as your loved one does things such as getting dressed in the morning or brushing his or her teeth. Even if your loved one can’t remember the words, hearing the same song each day can trigger the memory of what needs to be done next.

Professional caregivers with training and experience in cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful resource for seniors with Alzheimer’s. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care Tucson, AZ, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Positively Influences Moods and Behavior

The right song can help your loved one snap out of a bad mood and even calm down when he or she gets aggressive. Music naturally stimulates the brain to regulate bodily functions such as the release of hormones that can influence mood. Experiment with different tempos and types of music to see how they affect your loved one. For instance, he or she may sleep better when hearing a calm song playing as he or she drifts off for the night. Alternatively, playing a peppy song may inspire your loved one to exercise.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Tucson Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555.