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Music playing a central role for people with dementia

We must thank our DCA friends in Wokingham for putting together such a fascinating and eye-opening article about the benefits of music for those diagnosed with dementia.

There are eight reasons to make music a part of your day and they are….

It’s been proven to improve mood:
A scientific study of residents living in dementia care homes showed that listening to favourite music could be particularly beneficial; it helped ease agitation, anxiety and distressing behaviour. Music can also be used to create or enhance mood, so it has enormous potential.

It can reduce the need for medication:
A massive study of more than 25,000 nursing home residents found that those who listened to a personal playlist (a list of carefully selected favourite music chosen specially for them) were ‘significantly more likely’ to no longer need anti-psychotic drugs

Music could slow down memory loss:
Classical music can help slow down the onset of dementia, according to research. People who listened to Mozart were shown in a Finnish study to have enhanced gene activity in areas of the brain connected with memory and learning.

Music is a powerful emotional tool:
A favourite piece of music can make anyone laugh or cry when it taps into a strong memory. Music can help people with dementia to access memories and emotions.

When words fail…music still speaks:
When verbal communication becomes too difficult, music can still provide a way to connect with the world.

Music boosts confidence:
If you can’t remember what day it is, but you can still recall the words to every verse of your favourite song… you’re bound to feel good about yourself.

It’s very relaxing:
In the later stages of dementia, music can bring more benefits and a great deal of passive pleasure. Listening to a favourite CD, could also provide a great sense of comfort and normality to a world which may otherwise seem strange and unfamiliar.

Music can reduce your risk of developing dementia:
A study involving 157 sets of twins revealed that those who played an instrument lowered their risk of getting dementia by one third. The reasons are unclear but could be because learning to play an instrument increases the brains resilience when it faces attack.

And, if you’re interested there’s a new, dementia-based radio show available online called the ‘D Word’. The programme looks at a different aspect of dementia every episode and guests have included Alzheimer’s Society CEO Jeremy Hughes and author Kevin Quaid.  The host is Pete Hill and you can catch the show by following the link below: 

You can also take part, feel free to email Pete on:


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