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Music

How can music help people who with Cognitive Decline?

How can music help people who with Cognitive Decline?

Jonathan Graff-Radford, M.D.*

Research suggests that listening to or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioral benefits for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Musical memories are often preserved in Alzheimer’s disease because key brain areas linked to musical memory are relatively undamaged by the disease.

For example, music can:
Relieve stress
Reduce anxiety and depression
Reduce agitation
Music can also benefit caregivers by reducing anxiety and distress, lightening the mood, and providing a way to connect with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease — especially those who have difficulty communicating.

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  • Jonathan Graff Radford, M.D., studies normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, cerebrovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders. Specific disorders of interest include mild cognitive impairment, vascular cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, corticobasal syndrome, posterior cortical atrophy and frontotemporal dementia.

Challenges

In dementia, day to day tasks can become a challenge, even with simple things, like getting dressed…

The family caregiver’s role is changed and comes without defiance, protest, and dare. Both involved will need to learn new roads and understand each other in new ways.

Anxiety – Agitation

In the following video, UCLA professor for the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program demonstrates new approaches to those behavioral challenges. He offers new ways to communicate and decrease anxiety or agitation.

Dementia?

What is Dementia?

Dementia isn’t a disease. Instead, it’s a group of symptoms caused by other conditions. You might also hear it called major neurocognitive disorder.

Some cause for these symptoms are curable, it is why it is very important to have an accurate diagnoses for it’s cause.

Causes of dementia that may be reversible include:

These forms of dementia are partially manageable, but they aren’t reversible and get worse over time:

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Routines

The Benefits of Routines for People With Dementia

How Consistent Caregivers Can Help.

Because dementia can make it difficult to learn new things, using established, consistent routines can be calming and reassuring, for both the person with dementia and those around her.

Routines are often associated with our procedural memory (how we do things) and long term memory. So, since dementia typically first affects the short-term memory, the memory of a routine will often remain well into the middle stages of dementia.

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Types of Daily Routines. Cont

Benefits of Routines in Dementia

  • Maintains Functions
  • Reduces Anxiety
  • Decreases Caregiver Stress
  • Allows for Some Independence

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Source: Verywellhealth