For those suffering with Alzheimer's disease, music can encourage expression and social interaction, physical activity and movement, brain stimulation, healing, verbal expression and communication, expression of emotions, reminiscence and even achieve simple eye contact. As an Alzheimer’s caregiver, you are probably often looking for ways of helping your loved one relax and calm down. Caregivers have used music therapeutically for years — from melodic intonation therapy to enhance verbal skills to using music to motivate patients to move their bodies and enjoy exercises.
These are some of the quick and easy ways to incorporate music into the everyday lives of Alzheimer’s patients:
- Keep a CD player where your loved one likes to sit and listen to favorite tunes. It transforms a solitary time into a fun, relaxing or stimulating experience and activity.
- Keep a DVD library and use the DVR to tape musicals. Watch them often as the plots are easier to follow, they keep the attention and caregivers enjoys them too.
- Turn walks into musical adventures. Physical activity and music are a golden combination for brain stimulation. It’s amazing the songs patients will remember when walking.
These are just a few ways to use music, and you can too. Music really is a unique and special tool and you don’t have to be a professional music therapist to utilize it in your daily routines to enhance yours and your loved ones’ lives. Use music therapeutically for yourself too - to calm, relax, energize and express your caregiving experience.
For more information on Alzheimer’s care, contact Spring Arbor.