Dementia is an umbrella term that accommodates several conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Cognitive brain changes are the reason for the conditions in dementia. These changes in the brain affect the ability to think, process, and comprehend information due to the inability of brain cells to pass information from/to each other. It, in turn, will have a toll on the person’s emotions, behavior, memory, and dependency in everyday life.
Types of dementia
As dementia is a broad category, it includes conditions like:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Lewy body dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Mixed dementia
Characteristics of this condition include memory loss, confusion, disorientation, difficulty communicating, organizing, problem-solving, and loss of focus.
The treatment for dementia varies as per the type of condition. There are a few conditions that cannot be entirely treated but can be made manageable. Along with clinical treatments and lifestyle alterations, music therapy helps people with dementia a lot.
Dementia and music therapy
Music helps in increasing the blood flow and decreases the level of cortisol, the stress hormone. Music generally has several positive effects on our health, including increased dopamine production. Thus, dementia and music therapy can go hand-in-hand in treating the condition.
The practice of music therapy is either in a group or on an individual basis. The music played is most likely to rekindle the emotions and bring back sensations and emotional comprehension. Music therapy also helps decrease the potential stress that caretakers experience and brings a calm state of mind.
Music therapy advantages
For treating dementia, music therapy can renew the sensations. It can help in several aspects like:
- Memory recall: Human beings associate their memories and life with several instances. Music is one of the powerful components that can generate feelings and memories related to music.
- Positive emotional changes: Since dementia suppresses emotional comprehension, music can help bring a positive impact on the emotions that individuals with dementia might lack.
- Non-clinical method: Music therapy does not call for any medication. No pills or enzymes are doing the job. The music that the person with dementia listens to will have no other impact or side effects on the person.
- Improved communication: Dementia can have an impact on the way the individual communicates and comprehends. Music can improve the communicative components between individuals when in groups or between the individual and the physician. It will also be an opportunity for opening up.
- Reduce social isolation: The lack of communication, emotional expression, and comprehension are proportional to socialization. When music rekindles emotional aspects, the person is likely to socialize better.
Treatments for dementia range from pills to therapy. Pills regulate neurological activities, and therapies like cognitive rehabilitation help maintain track of memories and stability. When it comes to music therapy, it calls for none of it.
There might be certain tracks or types of music that can rekindle negative emotions. Look for the person’s response and choose the music appropriately.
This blog hopes to bring awareness among people and is not a substitute for a doctor. Please visit a doctor immediately if you have any symptoms of dementia.