Trained professionals use music as a therapeutic tool in a variety of situations. All age groups can benefit from music therapy regardless of musical ability. Older people dealing with dementia seem to particularly benefit from working with music therapists.
What Is Music Therapy
Music therapy is a growing field in which professionals use music to address various needs of their clients. Music therapy can be used to promote emotional health as well as to help someone rehabilitate after a serious injury or illness.
Therapists find music therapy beneficial both in a group setting and in individual sessions. A music therapy session can include listening to music, writing a song, or making music with instruments.
Music Therapy Helps Dementia Patients
Patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s are often isolated from other people. They seem locked within themselves. As the condition progresses, they can forget events and people from their past, friends and family members, and even their own names. This loss of memory can be frustrating for both the patient and their loved ones.
Music therapy is used to help improve the quality of life experienced by dementia patients. Music can help them unlock their memories. Music also provides a means of communication for those who no longer have the ability to maintain a traditional conversation.
Beyond the emotional and mental benefits of music therapy, some dementia patients can also benefit physically from the therapy. Therapists can use specific styles of music to promote increased movement in their patients. Provided the patients have physician approval, this physical activity can be an important tool for overall health in patients with mild forms of dementia.
Memory loss and communication issues associated with dementia can leave people feeling frustrated and isolated. Music therapy can help dementia patients recall memories, communicate with other people, and get much needed exercise. Trained music therapists tailor their programs to meet the needs of their patients within either a group or individual setting.