Accumulating evidence shows that persons with dementia still enjoy music, and their ability to respond to music is potentially preserved even in the late or severe stages of dementia when verbal communication may have ceased. Music therapy works by using sounds to awaken the parts of the brain that are not impacted by dementia. Research shows that the music that is chosen from the young adult years (ages 18 to 25) is most likely to have the strongest responses.
Humming, singing, movement and rhythm has been shown to activate still intact neurological pathways. From the simple playing of percussion instruments to playing individuals' favourite pieces of music, means their attention is engaged and they are actively involved in the therapeutic process.
Music has soothing and relaxing benefits that can help people with dementia communicate on an emotional, social and cognitive level. Music is unique in its powerful ability to elicit both memories and emotions. This can provide an important link to individual's past and a means of nonverbal communication. Music is an integral part of our dementia care program.
"Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life" -Jean Paul Friedrich Richter