September is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Hurley Elder Care Law works with many families with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s, and we have heard uplifting stories of therapies which have worked to comfort and help trigger happy memories for these clients. This week’s blog will examine the benefits of music therapy.
Cognitive Benefits of Music
Music therapy is often used in the treatment of dementia. 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.
In a National Library of Medicine article, it was shown that the intervention with music improves cognitive function in people living with dementia, as well as quality of life after the intervention and long-term depression.
Stimulating big band, swing, and salsa music can inspire dance and movement in people with dementia, providing much needed physical exercise, entertainment, and excitement. It is suggested that using soothing songs can reduce agitation. Seniors experiencing agitation, a common dementia behavior, can find great comfort in music.
In an article, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) shared study results of adults age 60 to 85 without previous musical experience exhibited improved processing speed and memory after just three months of weekly 30-minute piano lessons and three hours a week of practice, whereas the control group showed no changes in these abilities.
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy degree program. Professional music therapists are Board Certified. Some states have recognized music therapy at a variety of levels from Registration to Licensure.
The American Music Therapy Association estimates approximately 20% of music therapists receive third party reimbursement for the services they provide.
Music therapy is comparable to other allied health professions like occupational therapy and physical therapy in that individual assessments are provided for each client; service must be found reasonable and necessary for the individual’s illness or injury and interventions include a goal-directed documented treatment plan.
Hurley Elder Care Law’s licensed Care Coordinators regularly suggest resources to families to help supplement the medical health plan for our clients and their caregivers. Call us at 404-843-0121to discuss how we can help your loved one with dementia and other age-related issues manage their legal, financial, and emotional well-being.
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