According to recent studies, 47 million people worldwide live with dementia. The outlook isn’t great since predictions suggest that by 2030 that number will increase to 75 million. At the moment, there isn't a cure for dementia but research shows that numerous therapeutic treatments, like music therapy, can be used to improve the condition.
Music always has and always will be a powerful form of communication between human beings. Nothing can communicate emotions better than music. This is mainly due to the fact that the nucleus accumbens lights up at the sound of music. In recent years neuroscientists have become more and more focused on finding out just how effective music therapy is to revive lost memories as well as improving cognitive functions in dementia patients.
Benefits of music therapy for dementia patients:
1. Music is thought to stimulate the medial prefrontal cortex which can help bring back memories.
2. Music can help enhance mood and lower stress levels. People with dementia often become frustrated with their illness and music has proven to have a calming effect on them.
3. Music can offer a dementia patient a sense of control over their life by
4. Music can offer a person with dementia the feeling of control of their life. By restoring their sense of identity, it will help them reconnect with family and friends.
5. Music can encourage physical movement as well as the chance to interact with others. Exercise is known to enhance mood and music can be used as the distraction to encourage exercise.
Sound frequencies stimulate different areas of the brain which have an effect on neurotransmitters and hormones. Music can help access lost memories that might otherwise be lost because it communicates with the part of the brain responsible for emotions and memory.
If you are a Care Champ Caregiver, you might want to consider adding music therapy to your activities list. With the possibility that music can improve the lives of dementia patients, it would be an injustice not to try it.