The power of music, and more recently the popularity and growth in promoting singing as beneficial, is increasingly a key feature of dementia care. Studies have found that music has the potential to reach parts of the damaged brain in ways other forms of communication cannot.
Research informs us that the auditory system of the brain is the first to fully function at 16 weeks, resulting in being musically receptive long before anything else. Based on this evidence it’s a case of first in, last out when it comes to a dementia and the loss of memory. The neurochemical benefits of music can also boost the body’s immune system, reduce anxiety, and help regulate mood.
The therapeutic outcomes of music can help to:
- support and promote social interaction, enhancing eye contact and collective sharing
- encourage a sense of self through improvised music
- give an older person the opportunity to reminisce through the use of song and talking
- promote and help with relaxation
- encourage the expression of emotions such as anger, frustration, sadness
- promote creativity and experimentation