Did you know that January is Alzheimer's Awareness Month? Throughout the month (and beyond!) we are encouraged to educate ourselves about the realities of those impacted by Alzheimer's disease in Canada. Here is a great resource: #ilivewithdementia that includes first hand stories of those with dementia as well as their loves ones and caregivers.
This month, we want to give you a glance look at 5 ways you may not have known that music therapy can improve the quality of life of those living with Alzheimer's disease.
1. Music Therapy Can Reduce Agitation
Agitation is common among seniors with Alzheimer's disease and can present in a variety of ways including restlessness and wandering. Studies have shown that music therapy helps mitigate these behaviours as it can reduce stress and anxiety that is often associated with feelings of agitation.
2. Music Therapy Can Strengthen Bond with a Caregiver
Music therapy can help facilitate moments of joy and connection for a senior and their caregiver. This can strengthen their overall bond and reduce caregiver burnout. Music therapists can also educate caregivers on how to use music on a daily basis when caring for someone living with Alzheimer's disease.
3. Music Therapy Can Help Preserve Autonomy
It is important to respect a person's remaining need for autonomy when they are experiencing cognitive decline. We find that music continues to be an accessible means of expression for those living with Alzheimer's disease and because of this music therapists can provide many opportunities for choice making and independence through the music interventions.
4. Music Therapists Build Therapeutic Relationships That Improve Socialization
Building strong therapeutic relationship is integral to the work of a music therapist. This can be especially meaningful for those living with Alzheimer's disease who are isolated from loved ones or social circles they were once involved with.
5. Music Therapy Can Boost Mood & Reduce Depressive Symptoms
Music therapy can boost mood due to the brain's response to engaging in music (which includes the release of dopamine!) as well as the goals addressed in the therapeutic setting. This can lead to a reduction in symptoms of depression among those living with Alzheimer's disease including lack of interest, irritability, and withdrawal.
To learn more about whether or not music therapy might be a good fit for your loved one or care facility contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-951-2788