Unlocking The Door To A Closed Mind – The Power of Music Therapy

Music is the soundtrack of our lives. It marks each and every special event in our lives, from our first dance…to our first date…to our wedding day…to our bucket-list concerts. It reminds us of a loved one or a special person in our lives. It has the power to transform our mood, evoking emotions that range from extreme joy to extreme sadness. In short, music plays an important role in our daily lives, no matter what genre you prefer.

Music Therapy For Those With Dementia Or Alzheimer’s

With its power to touch our emotions, it’s no surprise, then, that music can be employed as a therapy for those who are locked in silence from dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.

What exactly is music therapy? It’s defined as “target-oriented and purposeful activity in which therapists work with individuals or groups, using musical expression and the memories, feelings, and sensations it evokes.” Music therapy can help older adults – especially those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s – maintain or increase their levels of physical, mental, social and emotional functioning. When used as sensory and/or intellectual stimulation, music can help them maintain or improve their quality of life.

With music, individuals who have been isolated by dementia or Alzheimer’s often begin to experience positive changes in their moods and emotions, recalling memories of earlier and happier times in their lives. For those who have been unable to communicate, music becomes their voice, their way of communicating with a world they feel isolated from. Responding to a favorite song, many individuals may speak for the first time in months or years, or initiate interaction with others through dancing, singing or conversation.

Why Does Music Therapy Work?

According to researchers, music therapy has five key benefits for older adults:

  1. Music evokes deep-seated emotions, even in the most advanced Alzheimer’s patients
  2. Musical aptitude and appreciation are the last of the senses to deteriorate as one progresses through the stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s
  3. Music can lead to emotional and physical closeness through dancing, hugging, and touching, which leads to a sense of security and belonging
  4. Singing along to a favorite tune is engaging, stimulating the brain to communicate
  5. Music can shift mood, manage stress and stimulate positive interaction, allowing the brain to communicate in positive, stress-free ways

But perhaps the most amazing aspect of music therapy is that it helps older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease reconnect with the person they once were, in some cases helping to reduce their need for certain medications.

Music Therapy In The Lehigh Valley

If you are caring for a senior loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, music therapy may help ease their stress and isolation and help them regain some ability to interact with you or others. In the Lehigh Valley, Katherine M. Purcell, a board-certified music therapist, is a music therapy practitioner located at 3437 MacArthur Road, Whitehall, PA. For more information about her programs and services, call 610-740-9890. 

Need Help With Other Aspects Of Senior Care?
Senior Helpers Of The Lehigh Valley Is Here To Help

A professional “helping hand” can take the stress and anxiety out of caregiving. Senior Helpers of the Lehigh Valley offers a full range of customizable care options that range from daily companion care (light housekeeping, general errands, transportation and appointments) to specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Ask us how we can help. Call us at 610-770-2036 today to speak to a senior care expert. 







Comments (0)

Add a Comment

Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment: