Healing Harmonies: Music's Role in Soothing Dementia Agitation

Try these tips to incorporate music therapy to decrease dementia agitation for someone you love.

The power of music on our moods is monumental. Just think about how it makes you feel to hear a marching band play patriotic songs during a parade. Now compare that to how you feel listening to the song you danced to with your spouse on your wedding day. It stands to reason that incorporating music into caring for a loved one can also have profound effects. In fact, it can even decrease dementia agitation.

How Can Music Help Someone With Dementia?

Rather than simply telling you, we suggest watching this powerful video to see for yourself the incredible transformation achieved through music for someone with dementia. Music is awakening and restorative, with the ability to instantly spark joy and memories.

Have you ever heard a song on the radio that transports you to a particular time or event? Our brains are essentially hard-wired to link music to long-term memories. This is even true for those in the most advanced stages of dementia.

Music & Memory, a non-profit organization that provides personalized music for individuals through digital technology, explains that listening to familiar and loved music can decrease agitation in dementia, lower anxiety levels, and enhance focus on the present, allowing for a better connection with others. The staff at Music & Memory educates family caregivers on how to create and implement these individualized playlists with the people they love to help them reconnect with the world through musical memories.

How to Develop Your Own Music Therapy Strategy

You can easily implement music therapy yourself with someone you love. If the person can tell you their favorite genre of music, artists, and songs, compile them into a playlist and share them with the individual, either with or without headphones. If you’re unsure, consider what music was popular during a certain period of time, such as Big Band music, or if they might enjoy music affiliated with their spiritual beliefs. Music connected to the person’s ethnic history is also a great starting point, such as reggae, salsa, country, jazz, blues, etc.

Gauge the person’s reaction as you experiment with different types of music. If the person seems to be anxious or agitated at any time, turn the music off and try a different genre later. Make note of which songs or types of music spark joy, and play them on a regular basis. You can also play these songs whenever a loved one displays feelings of anxiety, agitation, or fear to help calm them. Music can serve as a wonderful distraction from negative feelings and can even bring about thoughts of happier times.

How Can Home Care Help?

The services of a referred care provider from American, Advocate, or Whitsyms In-Home Care are readily available to help create playlists and incorporate music into a loved one’s dementia care toolbox, along with other effective tactics to alleviate the many challenging aspects of the disease.

Contact us to learn more about how a referred care provider can help someone you love enjoy a better quality of life with personalized in-home care services. Click the link to the location nearest you below:

State of Florida License and Registration Numbers: 30211518, 30211651, 30211295, 30211390, 30210978, 30211293, 30211382, 30211504, 30211733, 30211535, 30211531, 30211710, 30211709, 30211045, 5661