Our Alzheimer’s Awareness virtual race benefits the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.
These medals are 4″.
Most people associate music with important events and a wide array of emotions. The connection can be so strong that hearing a tune long after the occurrence evokes a memory of it. Studies have shown that music can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Music may even play a role in helping to ward off Alzheimer’s.
According to the foundation, researchers from Loyola University in Chicago found that retired orchestra musicians who had spent a lifetime of playing musical instruments were less likely to develop dementia in old age. The findings are consistent with others suggesting that cognitive stimulation, be it doing crossword puzzles, learning a new language, maintaining stimulating social relations, or playing a musical instrument, can help to keep the mind sharp as we age.
While music alone should never take the place of a well-structured program of caregiving or medical treatment, it can complement other forms of treatments. Other tips for music and the person with Alzheimer’s include:
• Pick songs or music that is familiar and enjoyable for the person with Alzheimer’s disease. Tapes, CDs, radio programs, even live music may be beneficial. But avoid music that may be too loud or interrupted by noisy commercials; too much stimulation can cause confusion and agitation.
• Turn off the TV, and close the door or curtains to avoid over-stimulation.
• Choose music to set the mood you’re hoping to create: Quiet music may be suitable before bedtime, while soft but upbeat tunes may be appropriate for a special birthday celebration.
• Encourage those with Alzheimer’s to clap or sing along or play a musical instrument.
• Supplement music with fond reminiscences and family photos.