Many of us think that forgetfulness is connected to old age, however, it can also be an indication of Alzheimer’s in elderly adults. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia that mainly affects adults over the age of sixty-five years. It can lead to changes in the brain of the person, which can initially lead to memory problems that can go unnoticed for many years.
In the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, patients may not be able to interact with others and can be unaware of the things happening around them. This dementia disorder does not have any permanent cure but studies about new dementia care treatment methods like music therapy offer hope.
As there are no effective treatments for the disease, the available treatment plans focus on improving the quality of life of the patient. Music therapy can offer numerous benefits for Alzheimer’s patients in different stages of the disease. Various studies show that music therapy can help improve focus, and communication abilities, and can reduce dependence on psychiatric medications.
Music therapy can be especially beneficial in the later stages of the disease in which the patient might disconnect from things happening around them and can experience issues communicating and verbally connecting with other people. There can be visible changes when an Alzheimer’s patient hears music. It can improve their mood and they may show a renewed interest in their surroundings. Upon listening to music, many Alzheimer’s patients might clap their hands, sing or even dance.
Studies and research shows that music stimulates different parts of the brain simultaneously. These include areas for language, body movement and mood, together with senses of sight, touch, and hearing. Researchers have also pinpointed an area of the human brain that stores memories by associating them with familiar songs and the emotions linked to the memories. As per many senior living and dementia care experts, the effect a particular song can have on a person can be determined by the person’s previous emotional experience with the song. If the person has some negative experience with a song, the person can show distress by acting tense.
Depending on the type of song, music therapy can help achieve many things. For instance, stimulating music can help motivate Alzheimer’s patients to stay awake or take action, whereas sedating music can prove more soothing to the person. Soothing music can work well with seniors who feel overwhelmed by their environment.