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The Role Music and Art Play in Alzheimer’s Therapy

alzheimer's therapy

Do you have a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s? Did you know that one of the best ways to engage with someone with Alzheimer’s is through music and art?

This kind of Alzheimer’s therapy is a great way to get people to open up. If you’re interested in music or art therapy for Alzheimer’s, then read on.

Music as a Spirit Lifter

It’s no secret that music can lift your spirits. So many of us turn to music to help us through dark times.

It’s been found that music is especially helpful for people with Alzheimer’s. Not only does music help those with this type of dementia feel more relaxed, but it can also help them to remember happier times.

Often, people with Alzheimer’s, who are unresponsive when exposed to other forms of stimulation, will immediately come to life when they hear music from their past. It’s important to note that music selection has a big impact on the effect.

If possible, you should always let the person with Alzheimer’s choose the music they listen to. If this isn’t possible, there are a few ways you can try and guess the kind of thing they would like. You could try asking their friends and family members.

Give Them Variety

If all else fails, you can play them music that would’ve been popular when they were teenagers. Services like Spotify can be helpful for immediately putting together a playlist of effective music.

If you use these kinds of services, you should consider using Spotify Premium. Music that’s interrupted by ads could cause stress and confusion.

You should also be careful not to cause sensory overload. Music for dementia or Alzheimer’s patients should not be too loud.

You should also take measures to eliminate any other sources of sound. This might mean closing windows or turning off the TV.

Music is great for people with Alzheimer’s, as it allows them to connect with the outside world and with themselves, even when they’re not receptive to other forms of communication. Music therapy for Alzheimer’s has been shown to be very effective, even in the latest stages of the disease.

Alzheimer’s Therapy with Art

Like listening to music, creating art has proven to be very effective in helping people with Alzheimer’s. The creation of art involves a lot of the senses. This means it can help with the forming of new receptors in the brain.

Also, creating a good piece of artwork is a great way to improve your mood and feelings of self-worth. For the best results, you should consider working with a qualified art therapist. In particular, one who’s used to dealing with patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

But that doesn’t mean you need to have an art therapist in order to get results. Doing almost any type of art can be highly beneficial to someone suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Art and Music Therapy Is Highly Beneficial for Everyone

Art and music therapy isn’t just for Alzheimer’s sufferers. It can also be incredibly beneficial to caregivers and family members.

Listening to music or creating art is a great way to connect. Finding ways to bond is particularly important for people with Alzheimer’s, as they may struggle to communicate in a conventional way.

If you have to care for someone you can’t make a personal connection with, it makes your task much more difficult. Listening to old music can be a great conversation starter, even if the person isn’t normally very talkative. Listening to music from their youth can unlock old memories and make them open up about it.

How to Introduce Music

You should take care when introducing music to someone with Alzheimer’s. To begin with, don’t turn up the volume to loudly. Try and select some songs which will be recognizable or have some personal meaning to the Alzheimer’s sufferer.

It might be more effective to play this kind of music at a low volume while other activities are being done. If this gets a good reaction, then you can turn the volume louder.

If the Alzheimer’s patient reacts well to the music, this is your opportunity to ask some questions. Ask if they know who the artist is. Do they know the lyrics and what does the music remind them of?

You might be surprised at just how much they can communicate. If you’re not sure what kind of music to play, try a playlist from a decade when the Alzheimer’s sufferer was young. You’ll almost certainly come across some tracks that’ll trigger memories or start conversations.

How to Introduce Art

There are many different forms of art. If there are any types of art that the person used to enjoy, it would be a good idea to start with those.

Of course, it sometimes might be necessary to provide a simplified version of that particular craft. For instance, if the person was an accomplished oil painter in early life, you might provide them with something a bit easier, like watercolors.

Also, you should avoid any sort of activity that involves anything dangerous. This means no sharp objects and nothing toxic.

With that being said, you should keep the project on an adult level. Don’t introduce anything that seems childish, as this could be perceived as demeaning.

Consider a Care Facility

Caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s can be a challenge. When the condition progresses to its later stages, it could prove all but impossible.

Often, the best thing you can do is send your loved one to live in an appropriate care facility. A good care facility will see all of your loved one’s needs attended to.

They will also get the chance to do things like art and music for Alzheimer’s therapy. When your loved one lives in the right kind of home, they’ll get the round-the-clock care that they need to live the best possible life.

Are you looking into an assisted living facility for your loved one? Then get in touch with us today.