According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, music can be used to help people in the depths of Alzheimer’s when little else is beneficial regarding aiding relaxation. Rhythmic responses do not require high cognitive functioning. Therefore, brain damage caused by dementia need not prevent people from benefiting from the power of music.
People respond differently to tunes that are connected to personal memories. Thus, unless an individual’s history is known, his or her reactions to music provided as a form of therapy should be taken into account. Melodies that provoke a positive response are useful, whereas those that make someone seem sad should be avoided.
Potentially helpful types of music
Music that reflects an individual’s youth has the potential to bring back happy memories. The Alzheimer’s Foundation suggests that songs and pieces of music that were popular when people were between the ages of 18 to 25 could be helpful. In addition, music with relaxing properties has a slow tempo and can help people feel peaceful, and behave in a calm manner.
The human voice can also be used to help people with dementia relax. Singing or listening to other people sing gentle songs can aid tranquility. Most people with dementia can move to beats of music until their condition is extremely bad. Thus, they might enjoy the benefits of relaxing melodies for a long period.
When dementia is severe, listening to soothing sounds and tunes that were sung en masse in people’s heyday can be constructive. In addition, exercising to music and listening to rhythmic melodies involving drumming can be valuable.
Music can help people with dementia relax, and provide them with comfort. Melodies with a slow beat are likely to be experienced as soothing, aiding sleep while providing reassurance.