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Can Music Be Beneficial for Seniors Living with Alzheimer’s?

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Over the last few years, scientists have learned quite a bit about the causes of Alzheimer’s and what can be done to avoid this pervasive condition. Even though researchers haven’t been able to come up with a permanent cure for the disease, they’ve discovered some amazing treatments, including music therapy. Listening to music is a great pastime for people of all ages, but it seems to be particularly beneficial for those who have Alzheimer’s. 

The Truth About Alzheimer’s

Before taking a look at the potential benefits of any Alzheimer’s treatment, it’s important to understand the basics of this unique condition. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disorder that damages various areas of the brain. Most researchers who study the disease agree that Alzheimer’s is caused by clumps of protein called plaques. When the body isn’t able to clear away the plaques, they permanently damage the nearby cells, which can lead to many of the cognitive problems we associate with Alzheimer’s. 

A professional caregiver with training and experience in cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful resource for a senior with Alzheimer’s. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide senior care, New Hampshire Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years.

What the Studies Say

Quite a few studies on Alzheimer’s and music have been conducted, and their results suggest music can benefit those who have this disease. One of the most recent studies was carried out by a team of scientists at the University of Utah who tested how music therapy impacted the memories of people with Alzheimer’s. The researchers found those with Alzheimer’s who listened to musical programs were able to enhance their memory function and cognitive performance.

Studies have also shown that music can minimize some of the behavioral issues people with Alzheimer’s often face. As the disease progresses, many seniors begin to experience debilitating or unusual emotional problems, such as severe anxiety, paranoia, and depression. In some cases, music can alleviate those symptoms so seniors can enjoy a much higher quality of life.

Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to handle. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, New Hampshire Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Music Therapy at Home

While many of these studies were carried out in very controlled environments with specific types of music, you don’t need to be as rigid about the music you select for your loved one. If your parent used to enjoy any particular bands or singers, try to play a few of his or her favorite songs or records. Playing a little bit of music when your loved one first wakes up or just before he or she goes to bed could have a huge impact on his or her cognitive and emotional health.

Music as a Method for Avoiding Altercations

Music can also be used as a distraction tool if your loved one is exhibiting aggressive behavior. Instead of arguing during an outburst, you might want to turn on some of your parent’s favorite music and give him or her a few minutes to calm down. As long as your loved one is in a safe and comfortable environment, he or she should eventually be able to regain control of his or her emotions. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (603) 471-3004 to learn more about our customized care plans.

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