Did you know that music has all sorts of benefits for people living with dementia, and that playing an instrument in adulthood can also help with memory recall in middle to later years?
Such is the power of music for people with the condition, that the campaign Music for Dementia is calling for music to be accessible to everyone with a diagnosis, and for it to be an integral part of care plans. At present many people with dementia do not have access to music, let alone music that is truly meaningful to them. This simple change can significantly improve their quality of life and wellbeing, as demonstrated by lived experience and research.
The number of people in the UK diagnosed with dementia is predicted to reach 1.6 million by 2040 (around double the current number) and 34.5 million of us know someone with a diagnosis. Alzheimer’s Research UK
While music is not a panacea, with no pharmaceutical cure for dementia on the horizon it has the potential to play a substantial role in care at all stages from diagnosis through to end of life.
Some of the many benefits of music for people with dementia include:
- alleviating anxiety, agitation and depression, offering a creative medium to work through and process feelings
- supporting positive changes in mood and emotional wellbeing
- reducing social isolation through its inherently social qualities
- positively supporting confidence and self-esteem
- offering a non-verbal, creative means of expression
- supporting memory recall (the ability to appreciate and engage with music remains intact even as cognitive functions deteriorate)
- encouraging alertness, enabling greater motivation to communicate and connect with others.
As a visitor to this website, you are no doubt aware of how important music is to your life, but you may not have heard the words music and dementia used in the same sentence.
If this newfound knowledge strikes a chord with you, please visit the Music for Dementia website to find out more and, better still, become a Music for Dementia Champion – letting anyone and everyone know how it can help and what they can do to help spread the word and influence others.