Today, music is more available than ever before. For people who bring smartphones or tablets with them wherever they go, hundreds of thousands – if not tens of millions of songs – are just a couple of touches or finger swipes away. If you are a caregiver for an older adult, your smartphone can become one of the most useful tools in your possession to help tap into the benefits of music. This popular video clip from the Alive Inside documentary demonstrates just how tremendously powerful music for seniors with dementia and restricted abilities can be.
With massive musical libraries immediately available from places like iTunes, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, and plenty of others, we can now find music, in many cases at no charge, in a number of different of styles in only seconds. Caregivers can determine what types of music the older adult enjoyed earlier in his or her lifetime. Perhaps the senior’s musical preference relates to a certain period of time, such as Big Band music, or it might be unique to his or her religious affiliations, such as gospel or hymns, for example. Maybe it’s linked to the person’s ethnic history – like those who prefer reggae or salsa. The senior might also have enjoyed classic favorites like jazz, blues, classical, country, and so forth. No matter the musical preference, availability to music can have incredible advantages.
Connecting With Memories
Did you ever listen to a song on the radio and have it transport you back to a distinct time in your life? Studies have revealed that music is powerfully linked to personal memories. The human brain is actually hard-wired to correlate music with long-term memories. This is the case even for individuals with moderate to severe dementia.
Music & Memory is a non-profit business that brings personalized music into the lives of seniors through digital music technology, greatly improving quality of life. The employees at Music & Memory train caregivers for seniors and family members in how to create and utilize individualized playlists with digital devices in order to enable older adults who have dementia and other challenges to reconnect with the world through memories from music.
Reducing Anxiety Levels
Studies have also uncovered that listening to music that is familiar and well-loved can help in reducing anxiety levels and increase focus on the present timeframe, which in turn assists the elderly with dementia to connect to other people around them.
At 24/7 Idaho Home Care, our objective is always to enhance the quality of life for older adults through our specialized dementia services and in-home care in Boise and the surrounding communities. And, we go the extra mile in the small things that can bring joy to the days of those we serve – such as through music and other creative activities. Call us today at (208) 908-6080 to learn more.