Can Music Therapy for Dementia Help Your Loved One?

music therapy for dementia

Managing dementia may not be as challenging as one might expect. There are several straightforward ways to help older adults deal with memory issues. A healthy diet, restful sleep, therapy, and even specific games can help improve your loved one’s recollection ability.

At Season Retirement, we prioritize the overall well-being of our residents. Hence, we encourage older adults to engage in healthful activities and exercises to maintain excellent health. Memory games, for instance, are particularly beneficial to the mental health of older folks.

Like memory games, music therapy for dementia is a great way to enhance your older relative’s cognitive ability. Music can provide numerous health benefits to older persons with dementia and other memory-related issues.

This piece will discuss music as a therapy, how it can improve your loved one’s memory health, and how to use music therapy at home.

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is a form of treatment that involves the clinical use of songs to achieve unique goals, such as stress alleviation, mood boost, and better self-expression in different individuals. It is an evidence-based therapy that is quite popular in the medical community. Music therapy activities may include singing, playing musical instruments, listening, and so on.

Due to its effectiveness psychologically, emotionally, and cognitively, music therapy is an excellent treatment for mental conditions and remedy for their effects. Let’s go over how music for seniors can help manage dementia.

How Music Therapy Can Help Your Loved One With Dementia

To understand how music ties into effective treatment for dementia in older adults, it is essential that we have a look at how it improves their memory health. Here are the various benefits of music for seniors:

1.    Reduced Stress Levels

Ordinarily, music can promote a sense of calm in your older loved one’s mind, alleviating the feeling of anxiety and stress. Past experimental studies found that music significantly affects the emotional health of older folks.

For instance, listening to relaxing and mindful music can help soothe the mind of your loved one. Meanwhile, listening to an upbeat and exciting tune can encourage people of all ages to consider learning dance exercises – an excellent way to lift their mood and enhance their memory.

2.    Improved Memory

In addition to arousing positive emotions, music can also evoke old, long-term memories in listeners. This is perhaps the most important benefit of music for seniors with dementia.

Music’s rhythm and timbre can positively affect the brain’s memory region, which is almost always in good condition regardless of health issues. This may help trigger old memories in older folks dealing with dementia.

3.    Better Social Bonding

Music therapy can help enhance the enthusiasm of your older ones to forge social connections and relationships with others. This practice can be beneficial in connecting participants with their emotions and interacting with others.

Moreover, you can spend quality time with your loved ones by singing along or listening to their favourite band and albums. Whether the former or the latter, your older relatives will find it more comfortable to relax and remain engaged when you can have meaningful conversations about memorable events.

4.    Improved Sleep

Music therapy for dementia has been proven to improve the sleep quality of older folks by inducing the calming parts of their autonomic nervous system, resulting in quiet breathing, reduced heart rate, and lower blood pressure.

Quality sleep, in turn, improves your parents’ recollection ability by strengthening the neural links that form memories. Moreover, getting a restful sleep after learning helps consolidate mere information into long-lasting memories in the brain.

Music Therapy Tips for Your Loved Ones With Dementia

Music, as a treatment, can be administered to your loved one by a music therapist or even by you in different ways. For instance, music therapy for seniors can be practiced individually or in groups, depending on what your older one wants or the recommendations of a trained professional.

That being said, if you would love to use music to help your older one dealing with dementia, here are a few tips to assist you in doing this:

1.    Consider your loved one’s taste

Most readers may have learned many things about their parents and grandparents, so you likely know their favourite musical genres, artists, albums, and songs. Sharing and listening to music related to special moments and occasions or their preferences can be an excellent way for older individuals to remain connected and grounded.

You can ask any close friends and other family members to suggest music or create a playlist for your older one dealing with mental conditions like dementia.

2.    Music as a mood booster

You probably haven’t realized it, but music can play a significant role in helping maintain a good mood for individuals of all ages. Choosing the right music can also be an essential factor.

For example, you can play calm or soothing music in the early morning or late evening. Meanwhile, uptempo or fast-paced music is the way to go if you want to encourage or get someone’s spirits up.

3.    Avoid disruption

When playing music for your older ones, block out disruptive sounds that may affect the quality of the song. TV noises, outdoor sounds, and commercials are some disturbances to look out for during a music therapy session.

Furthermore, ensure the music volume is set to a healthy level for your older one’s ears.

4.    Sing along

You can sing along to music with your parents and grandparents, which may help improve their mood. Moreover, it is a way to strengthen your bond with them.

Now, if you notice that your older one enjoys a particular song, you can try to play it more often than the others.


After reading this article, you should understand how music can be used as a form of treatment. Music therapy for dementia, for instance, is a powerful way to improve the memory health of your older one.

Seasons Retirement offers various senior living options, including memory care – a program designed to meet the unique care needs of older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

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