An Alzheimer's Disease Or Stroke Patient Can Benefit From Music Therapy
Music has the ability to transcend language and other communication barriers. It teaches and it can provide therapy after a stroke. Music therapy is also very beneficial to an Alzheimer's patient.
We listen to music all our lives and learn the words to songs that mean something special to us during certain milestones in our lives. Learning music and song naturally is a multi-layered process in our brain and this process works its way into our memory, so much so that we can almost instantly recall the words to a song we haven't heard in over a decade once it begins to play. This is because music uses many parts of the brain and this is why music can be more effective for a stroke or Alzheimer's patient than just language memory.
For a stroke patient music memory can help with relearning language skills. Melodies and songs make learning easier and more fun.
Alzheimer's patients experience memory loss among other things and these are retrograde. This means the skills known are lost in the opposite order to how we learned them. The newest abilities are lost first. This does explain why music is very beneficial for a person with Alzheimer's, because they can long remember songs, tunes and melodies from their childhood that have not yet been subject to memory loss. Muscle memory is also triggered with music. This is why it is sometimes difficult to not tap a foot to a beat. This same thing happens to an Alzheimer's patient that may be unresponsive to other stimuli. They may actually begin to tap a finger or foot to the sound of some music.
University studies have shown that activities such as moving and singing to music help decrease agitation, disruptive behaviours and wandering in Alzheimer's sufferers in nursing homes.
Certified music therapists use music and song therapeutically. They are trained musicians that sing as well as play instruments and know how to engage the patient for best therapeutic results. This isn't to say that you need to be a trained therapist to know and understand the value and benefit of music for a stroke or Alzheimer's patient.
Music therapy has been known to aide in pain relief. It also relaxes people, calms the mind, stills the emotions and can be used to simply improve quality of life.
DJ Hughes is a writer for eldercare and nursing home activities. Believing music and song to be one of the best activities for seniors for fun and therapy, she highly recommends http://www.melodicmemories.com sing along DVD's for seniors. For more activities for seniors in care visit NursingHomeActivitiesResource.com
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