Music and Its Benefits for Those Living with Dementia

Posted on June 21, 2024

Music and Its Benefits for Those Living with Dementia

Posted on Posted in News




Music Therapy for Loved Ones Living With Dementia


It can be challenging navigating life with a loved one who is living with dementia, but fortunately there are proven communicative and therapeutic activities you can use to ease the journey. At the Hollies, one such activity we use is music therapy.
Music therapy is a therapeutic intervention delivered by registered music therapists. It’s used to support emotional, cognitive, communicative and physical wellbeing, and it can act as a gentle bridge between the fading memories and emotions expressed by individuals living with dementia.



Why Music Therapy?


Various studies have shown that music can be a powerful stimulus. The frequencies have a positive effect on the cognitive function and behavioural patterns of those living with dementia. It often enhances quality of life and reduces long-term effects such depressive symptoms associated with the condition.



What does It Involve?


Music therapy can be categorised as active – singing, playing instruments and composing music – or passive, focusing more on listening to recorded or live music. These activities can help loved ones connect with memories and emotions that are otherwise difficult for them to access.



Benefits of Music Therapy


Engaging with music can improve cognitive stimulation and slow the declining effects of dementia. It can also trigger past memories, helping individuals to recall and improve mental alertness.
Music encourages movement – such as clapping and foot tapping, thus improving motor skills and physical coordination. It also helps loved ones articulate their feelings without using words, resulting in a deeper connection and understanding for caregivers and family members.
Regular group music therapy sessions also provide increased social opportunities and shared experiences, alleviating feelings of isolation and fostering a sense of community and belonging.
It can have a calming effect on individuals living with dementia too – reducing agitation and behavioural issues associated with the illness. In turn, quality of life is improved and there’s an increase in self-esteem and overall wellbeing.



Music Programmes at the Hollies


At the Hollies we offer regular music programmes and activities aimed at improving the wellbeing of loved ones living with dementia. These activities include sing-alongs, musical bingo, lyric discussions, relaxation and guided imagery programmes.
We host art and music therapy sessions to provide multi-sensory experiences and also encourage the playing of instruments like the tambourine, maracas and handbells.
We find that individuals with no musical experience enjoy songwriting and composing their own music. It’s a unique form of creative expression that brings a sense of accomplishment and joy to many.



Events and Music Concerts


Events at The Hollies are tailored to include music, whether it’s Easter, Halloween, Christmas or for a birthday celebration.
We organise outdoor events during the summer months – last year welcoming the Armonico Consort – a critically acclaimed British choir known for inspiring audiences with their passionate performances.
The popular Dursley Male Voice Choir will also appear at The Hollies on the 26th June. The group perform a wide range of music to suit all tastes from pop and musical theatre to classic tunes and sea shanties.




About The Hollies


The Hollies is a family-run, friendly and supportive care home community set within a peaceful country park in Dursley, Gloucestershire. We offer award-winning care in a safe environment with a dedicated team at the heart of everything we do.