The Power of Music

A brief look into how music can drastically improve the quality of life in Alzheimer’s patients...

Beyond the entertainment value of music, there is growing evidence that listening to music can help stimulate seemingly lost memories and even help maintain some cognitive functioning. Many Alzheimer's patients can remember and sing songs even in advanced stages, long after they've stopped recognizing names and faces.  Musical ability and music appreciation remain long after other abilities have passed, so music is an excellent way to reach beyond the disease and reach the person.
It is common during the later stages of dementia for patients to lose the ability to share emotions with caregivers. If the patient is capable of walking and they are played music, they may be moved by it and start dancing. Dancing may lead to hugs, kisses and touching which will then bring back a feeling of security and many memories.

 

“Music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring with it memory… it brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can. The past, which is not recoverable in any other way, is embedded, as if in amber, in the music, and people can regain a sense of identity…” - Oliver Sacks (Neurologist). 

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