Memory Support - April 8, 2022

Memory Care & Benefits of Listening to Music

Music can be a powerful thing, and throughout history, it has been used across cultures and generations. Every beat, rhythm, and lyric create a unique sound that can resonate with a person, creating a lasting and meaningful impact.

For many of us, music is with us throughout our days. Whether we pump jams for motivation during a workout, play instrumental tunes as background noise as we work, or listen to calming tones as we fall asleep, the varying types and genres of music are always there to help.

But, the benefits of listening to music go far beyond helping us through our daily routines. In fact, listening to music can be highly beneficial for individuals living with memory impairment, such as dementia. As a memory care and support provider in Wyoming, Michigan,  Rivertown Ridge is sharing the benefits of listening to music and the positive impact it can have on those living with dementia.

Music Can Spark Memories

Music has likely always been a part of your life. Maybe your mother would sing you a lullaby as a child, and you think of her every time you hear it. Or, you’ve said the phrase, “this is our song,” to a partner, and memories of your relationship come flooding back every time you hear the melody. These types of reactions are no different for those living with dementia. 

For a person living with dementia, short-term memory is often the most affected part of memory, whereas long-term memories remain intact. So when they hear a song that is significant to them, they are reminded of the memories attached to it. Click here to watch Marta Cinta González Saldaña, a woman living with Alzheimer’s who was an accomplished ballerina when she was young, react to music from Swan Lake.

The Mayo Clinic states, “musical memories are often preserved in [dementia] because key brain areas linked to musical memory are relatively undamaged by the disease.” By listening to music, individuals can slow memory loss, improve cognitive functioning, and increase recognition and recollection.

Music Provides Engagement & Expression

Connection and engagement are essential for those living with dementia. However, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias [can] gradually diminish a person’s ability to communicate [verbally].” This makes finding other ways to connect so important, and why music can be such a powerful tool.

One of the benefits of listening to music for those living with dementia is that it gives them an alternative way to express themselves and interact with the people around them. Even if they are having trouble communicating verbally, tapping their feet or clapping their hands to the beat allows them to show how they feel, express themselves, and engage with others.

Music Can Lift Your Spirits

Music just makes us feel good. According to an article published through Dove Press, a “small study found that passively listening to a preferred music was effective in reducing measures of anxiety in a population of residential care [individuals] with dementia.”

When a person living with dementia listens to music they enjoy, it can help:

  • Relieve stress
  • Ease agitation
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Lessen feelings of depression

Specialized Memory Care in Wyoming, Michigan

At Rivertown Ridge, we are dedicated to providing expert memory care services at our Lighthouse Memory Support community. Each of our team members receives specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias to successfully deliver the highest level of care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From medication management to understanding nonverbal cues, support is always available.

At the same time, each one of our residents receives a fully customized memory care plan to provide the exact level of support they need. Our team works with residents and their families to assess current needs, identify opportunities for improvement, and plan for the future. Along with our innovative programming, social activities, and on-site wellness center, Rivertown Ridge memory support residents have access to everything they need to stay healthy, engaged, and mentally active.

We invite you to visit our website or contact our Rivertown Ridge team to learn more about our Lighthouse Memory Support community in Wyoming, Michigan.


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