Gretna Music's Blog

About neuroscience and music (mainly classical). Exploring the relationship of music and the brain based on experience of two careers.

May 15, 2021

[I'm happy to welcome a guest writer to my blog. Lydia Chan from Alzheimer's Caregiver has some good practical advice for anyone eligible for AARP, whether you think you have Alzheimer's, may be worried about "senior moments,' or just want to find a reason to get out of your chair. I don't know the happy fellow above but he looks to be about my age.]
by Lydia Chan
For seniors with dementia or the beginning stages of this profoundly stressful disease, it can sometimes be a struggle to enjoy life’s small pleasures and find a balance in your day-to-day existence. But could music be the answer to the struggles of seniors and their caretakers? As the universal language, could music transcend the unknown and help us understand each other’s needs in a more complete way?
Scientists, therapists, and caregivers all seem to think so. Research on the connection between music and dementia shows that music can improve memory, reduce symptoms of depression, and decrease stress levels, among other important things.
This advice is for both seniors and the people who care for them. Let’s take a look at how seniors can incorporate more music into their lives and stave off the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia for a little while longer:

Use technology to your advantage

If you or your caregivers have access to smart technology, it can be easy to set musical timers to go off throughout the day. Maybe you can have a 2 p.m. solo dance session, or you can wake up from a nap to a nice relaxing piano song. It’s clear that music can bring mental and emotional health benefits to seniors’ lives, according to recent research. Essentially, music activates many regions in the brain and can have an impact on the kinds of things you remember and the kinds of activities you can do. Therefore, older citizens who have early-stage dementia can use music to their advantage in this way, too.