Dementia is a sad reality, especially amongst the old people. It is one of the most common illnesses that aging people suffer from. And while there is no specific way to prevent dementia, there are some therapies you can provide your aging patients. One of it is through music.
According to most people helping or treating people with dementia, one of the most successful interventions they use is the music therapy. These therapists believe that music serves as a medium of communication for specific moments when the function of language has been lost because of the dementia condition. It is because language is said to be a new brain function while music is familiar and relevant to all cultures. Moreover, music is being processed by different parts of the brain and not just one piece. Like a guitar teacher teaching various elements of music like rhythm, pitch, and melody, the brain handles these elements differently.
According to the well-known music therapy advocate, Oliver Sacks, we actually listen to music through our muscles. The arousal happens in the brain stem while the dynamic registers in the basal ganglia. Since music is being collected and treated in the brain stem, it makes sound primal among humans. Thus, people who are suffering from memory loss tend to respond to music better than using verbal languages.
Dr. Kimmo Lehtonen of the University of Turku in Finland, thought that music therapy has many faces. He says music exhibits a microcosmos which has a close relationship with our deep, inner feelings. These feelings don’t leave us even if our minds already forgot about it. Dr. Lehtonen sites an example wherein he usually plays wartime songs to his old patients who may have already been around during the war era. This music can bring back old memories to his patients, and their minds can be activated.
Relieving Mind Stress
Music therapists further stress that music helps improve the general physical and mental well-being of patients with dementia. Through music, the patient can have more probability for memory recall, and there is a definite change in his or her moods and emotional condition. Through these changes, the patient also becomes more open to meet people and be sociable again. Another plus factor of music is that you do not need to buy expensive medicines to treat dementia patients. Or let them undergo through some medical help to manage their discomfort and pain. Just play some music, and their weary minds can be relaxed and be still. Moreover, music makes the patient be comfortable with his or her therapists. It serves as a connecting link between the patient and the doctor or therapist, thus making the treatment progress faster and better.
Indeed, there is really more to music than just what we hear. It does not only help change our mood or relieve our stress, but it can also help a lot in the treatment of patients suffering from memory loss.