​Musical Nostalgia

​Musical Nostalgia

Isn’t it amazing how an old song can trigger a memory that takes us back to a particular moment in time. Has an old tune recently caught you off guard and brought back a wave of memories, even if it’s something you haven’t heard for many years? Songs our parents or grandparents sang to us can take us back to our early childhood.

As we get older it can be very comforting to revisit these tunes again, especially for those with memory issues. There have been many studies done on the effect of music on the brain and how it can affect those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

Music is a fantastic form of entertainment for all ages, we start singing to babies as soon as they are born and you don't need reminding about teens and their music. So it is something that should not be overlooked for seniors too.

Music is a lovely way for people to keep connected, through shared memories, or just a smile inspired by a well loved song. It can also be very beneficial for an individual with dementia by helping to reduce anxiety and it has even been found to aid with communication. 

Singing and listening to music stimulates many parts of the brain, but as it requires very little mental processing it can be done by those who have less cognitive function. It’s a fabulous stress free workout for the brain, great for those with dementia, and also great for tired working people. 

Music can be a useful tool for all of us. Putting on some uplifting music while doing the housework for example, can get you moving a little faster and help make chores a little more fun. For someone with dementia, a catchy song may encourage swaying, dancing or singing. Whereas a soft ballad may calm and help someone move into a more restful state.

Having music on during the day gives a rhythm to the day which can help people with dementia move from one task to the next. And a piece of music an individual enjoys can also be a fantastic distraction when attempting unfavourable tasks.

The great thing about music is it not only has a positive effect on someone with dementia, but also those around them. If you haven't tried it for a while, put on a favourite tune from when you were a teenager and see how it makes you feel. 

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