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Music can be a powerful tool in Alzheimer’s care. It can help seniors with Alzheimer’s express themselves, stay engaged, and connect with old memories. Here are a few great ways to use music while caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s.
Choose Familiar Music
When seniors have Alzheimer’s, they usually respond most positively to music they’re familiar with. If possible, ask your loved one what music he or she would like to listen to. If your loved one can’t verbalize his or her preferences, select songs with personal relevance, ranging from the song played during his or her first wedding dance to the album he or she played during family road trips. If you don’t know your loved one’s musical preferences, choose some popular music from his or her youth.
If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Albuquerque Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
Set the Mood
Watch how your loved one responds to specific songs. If listening to Elvis always brightens your loved one’s spirits, try playing “Burning Love” when he or she is in a bad mood. After a while, you may be able to use familiar songs to inspire certain moods. Upbeat songs may brighten your loved one’s day, and a beloved classical piece may soothe him or her when feeling anxious.
When playing music for your loved one, don’t choose radio stations or apps with frequent commercial breaks. While advertisements are a mild annoyance for most people, they can be too jarring for people with Alzheimer’s. For optimal music therapy, go for commercial-free streaming services or simply put on an album. You may also want to close the doors and windows and get rid of any competing noises. If your loved one hears too many noises at once, he or she may experience sensory overload, which mitigates the effects of the music.
Listening to music can be a passive activity, but it doesn’t have to be. When seniors listen to their favorite songs, caregivers should encourage them to join in on the fun. They can dance while sitting in a chair, clap their hands, or even vocalize. If your loved one seems to enjoy taking an active part in music therapy, provide simple instruments to play with, like drums, maracas, and tambourines. Playing instruments allows seniors to express themselves with sound and movement, and it also gives their motor skills a workout. Music can also be used to motivate seniors to exercise. If the doctor has recommended an at-home exercise regimen, use upbeat songs to inspire your loved one to perform cardiovascular activities.
Some seniors require assistance to engage in physical activities such as dancing and exercising. Albuquerque home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Enroll Your Loved One in a Music Therapy Class
If you notice your loved one responds positively to music, consider signing him or her up for a music therapy class. Many communities offer music therapy classes specifically for seniors with Alzheimer’s. These classes often give seniors hands-on music-making experiences, which can have lasting benefits on cognitive and emotional wellness.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Albuquerque seniors can depend on. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at 505-798-0800 today.