Positive Effects of Music for those with Dementia

Hi……recently, I had the privilege of attending a lecture by Dr. David Coon, a researcher at ASU, who has just finished a study of the impact of live music on residents of a memory care facility in Arizona. The study also gathered information on the changes this music made on the musicians playing the music and the professional caregivers who were on the staff.  As you might imagine, the effect of the music was significant on all 3 groups.  But, since we are all looking for ways to enrich the lives of those affected by dementia, it was particularly interesting to me that even for those individuals who demonstrated the most difficult behaviors, music had a calming and engaging effect. 

The most interesting statistic for me was the the staff identified bathing as the time when the most difficult behaviors might manifest themselves, but when music was play before and during the activity, the residents were much more easily bathed.  So, for those of you having difficulty bathing your loved one, try some music in the bath area.  What kind of music? 

Another interesting observation was that often family caregivers would determine which music to play for their loved ones, but it was not always the right selection!  Staff noticed that when family left, residents often enjoyed a much wider variety of tunes.  So, try some new music for your loved ones.  Let me know how that works!

P.S…..Here is a link to a webpage on Dr. Coon.  He is also the doctor who helped create the CarePro program and the EPIC program with the Alzheimer’s Association.

https://soundcloud.com/publichealthminute/psychosocial-interventions-and-dementia-dr-david-coon

Click here to learn more as well: https://asunow.asu.edu/20160526-solutions-arts-and-culture-harmonize-health