As part of our #SongsToRemember campaign, the musical tunes have been flowing as our clients sing their favourite songs with their CAREGivers.
But why does music have such an impact on the brain, and especially those with dementia?
Musical memory and the brain
According to the Commission on Dementia and Music, research suggests that regions of the brain associated with musical memory may overlap with regions relatively spared in Alzheimer’s disease. The findings suggest that even if certain areas of the brain are badly affected by dementia, a person may still be able to understand and enjoy music.
The report, set-up and coordinated by the International Longevity Centre, with support from The Utley Foundation adds that music may help in the recall of information for people with dementia, in a similar way to mnemonics, and playing a musical instrument may be associated with a lowered likelihood of developing dementia.
The ‘memory bump’
The findings of the report also revealed that people with dementia retain the clearest memories for the music they enjoyed and heard roughly between the ages of 10 and 30. Sally Bowell, a research fellow from the International Longevity Centre, told Home Instead Senior Care: “Evidence such as this is incredibly valuable for CAREGivers, who can use this as a key to unlocking the music that might most resonate with their loved ones.”
Why else does music impact the brain?
It’s engaging! Research shows that singing activates the left side of the brain and listening to music sparks activity in the right-hand side. Music means that the whole brain is stimulated, and more mind power than usual is being exercised.
Singing and music is also reported to help retain speech and language, help tackle anxiety and depression and improve quality of life.
Music clearly has a huge impact on the lives of people living with dementia and music is just one of the ways our CAREGivers help our clients to live life well.