Music and dementia

musicanddementia_mast_ver2

 Music plays an important part in society, both past and present. Response to music is universal and it does not diminish with dementia. This post looks at  sustaining meaning and connection through music.

 

Music remembers me : connection and wellbeing in dementia  /  Kirsty Beilharz  (2017)music remembers me

Music remembers me includes moving stories from music engagement along with practical advice and tips about introducing music into daily care. Author Kirsty Beilharz has woven together fascinating insights into music, our brains and dementia with practical advice on music engagement.

 

 

Forever today : a memoir of love and amnesia  /  Wearing, Deborah  (2005)forever today

Clive Wearing is one of the most extreme cases of amnesia ever known. In 1985, a virus completely destroyed a part of his brain essential for memory, leaving him in a limbo of the constant present. An accomplished conductor and BBC music producer, Clive was at the height of his success when the illness struck. As damaged as Clive was, the musical part of his brain seemed unaffected.

 

DVD : Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me  (2014) I'll be me_glencampbell

In 2011, music legend Glen Campbell set out on an unprecedented tour across America. He thought it would last 5 weeks; instead it went for 151 spectacular sold out shows over a triumphant year and a half. What made this tour extraordinary was that Glen had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He was told to hang up his guitar and prepare for the inevitable. Instead, Glen and his wife went public with his diagnosis and announced that he and his family would set out on a ‘Goodbye Tour.’ The film documents this extraordinary journey as he and his family attempt to navigate the wildly unpredictable nature of Glen’s progressing disease using love, laughter and music as their medicine of choice.

DVD: Alive inside: A story of music & memory. A film by Michael Rossato-Bennett, 2014Alive Inside DVD

Alive Inside is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized and awakened by the simple act of listening to the music of their youth.

You can view the trailer for this wonderful film below:

 

 DVD: Twilight songs  /  Producer and story researcher Nicky Ruscoe  (2014)

Twilight Songs follows music practitioner Michael Mildren as he visits patients in aged care homes in Melbourne. By playing music for them on a variety of instruments, and singing songs from their past, he achieves a remarkable connection, one that helps bring them into the present and improves their quality of life. Michael has been doing this work for 20 years and is devoted to making the lives of the elderly more interesting and enjoyable through the power of music.
ABC Compass

articles_finalLove is listening  / Helen Scott  (2017)

Virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie used her listening skills to make meaningful connections with care home residents with dementia. Helen Scott explains how the Love is Listening project worked.
The Journal of Dementia Care Vol 25 No 5 September/October 2017 p.14-15

Young dementia: together in perfect harmony (2017)

Singing in harmony creates togetherness and belonging among people with young onset dementia. Claire Watts and Sabrina Findlay report.
The Journal of Dementia Care Vol 25 No 5 September/October 2017 p.20-21

Music therapy: positive results, changes that last (2017)

Ming Hung Hsu explains how music therapy can help care professionals respond better to the needs of people with dementia, reducing distressing symptoms and improving quality of care.
The Journal of Dementia Care Vol 25 No 5 September/October 2017 p. 28-29

 

Music and dementia

Music has a transformative effect on people. Whether young, old, happy, sad, with dementia, without dementia, music enriches our lives and helps us access cherished memories. Today’s post provides information on resources about the importance of music to people with dementia and the potential for music to contribute to a higher quality of life in myriad ways.

ConnectingThruMusicBook: Connecting through music with people with dementia : a guide for caregivers  by Robin Rio, 2009

For people with dementia, the world can become a lonely and isolated place. Music has long been a vital instrument in transcending cognitive issues; bringing people together, and allowing a person to live in the moment. Connecting though Music with People with Dementia explains how a caregiver can learn to use melody or rhythm to connect with someone who may be otherwise non-responsive, and how memories can be stimulated by music that resonates with a part of someone’s past.

This user-friendly book demonstrates how even simple sounds and movements can engage people with dementia, promoting relaxation and enjoyment. All that’s needed to succeed is a love of music, and a desire to gain greater communication and more meaningful interaction with people with dementia. The book provides practical advice on using music with people with dementia, including a songbook suggesting a range of popular song choices and a chapter focusing on the importance of caregivers looking after themselves as well as the people they care for.

Suitable for both family and professional caregivers with no former experience of music therapy, and for music therapy students or entry level professionals, this accessible book reveals many useful techniques used in music therapy by experienced professionals.

dementia journalArticle: Music therapy: A nonpharmacological approach to the care of agitation and depressive symptoms for nursing home residents with dementia by Kendra D Ray and Mary S Mittleman, Dementia October 29, 2015

Depression, agitation, and wandering are common behaviors associated with dementia and frequently observed among nursing home residents. Even with pharmacological treatment, behaviors often persist, hindering quality of life for elders, their family, and paid caregivers. This study examined the use of music therapy for treatment of these symptoms among 132 people with moderate to severe dementia in nursing homes. Participants were evaluated for depressive symptoms, agitation, and wandering to determine their predominate behavior. There were two assessments, two weeks apart, prior to intervention, followed by a two-week intervention, and two follow-up assessments, also two weeks apart. A repeated measures ANOVA determined that after two weeks of music therapy, symptoms of depression and agitation were significantly reduced; there was no change for wandering. Multivariate analyses confirmed a relationship between music therapy and change in neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with dementia. Results suggest widespread use of music therapy in long-term care settings may be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and agitation.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

DVD: Alive inside: A story of music & memory. A film by Michael Rossato-Bennett, 2014Alive Inside DVD

Alive Inside is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized and awakened by the simple act of listening to the music of their youth.

You can view the trailer for this wonderful film below:

radio nat article 2Radio program: Music of memory – All In The Mind, Radio National, Sunday 8 November 2015 5:05PM

All In The Mind explores the work documented by the documentary Alive Inside. This radio program is available as on-demand, a downloadable audio file or a written transcript.  Below is an excerpt from their synopsis:

“Our relationship with music begins at birth, if not before, and plays a role in the formation of our identity when we are young. Now a heart-warming movement called Music & Memory is creating personalised music playlists for residents with dementia in nursing homes—who use their mobile device to hear it.” RN All In The Mind website, accessed 20 November 2015.

 

dementia journalArticle: But does it do any good? Measuring the impact of music therapy on people with advanced dementia: (Innovative practice) by Karen Gold. Dementia 2014 13(2) p.258-264

This article describes the impact of music therapy upon a group of nine people with advanced dementia in a hospital setting. It demonstrates how the impact of music therapy was measured using the case notes completed by nursing and care staff and how these notes suggested that music therapy had a positive effect on the mood and behaviour on eight of the nine people receiving music therapy.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

Sustaining_note_of_hopeReport: Sustaining the note of hope: Music, dementia and meaningful lives by Marsaili Cameron and Belinda Sosinowicz , 2013

The report draws on the presentations, discussions and stories from a creative multidisciplinary seminar in order to:
• outline the emerging shape of dementia services in the UK, and the potential contribution of the arts, especially music, to dementia care.
• offer examples of current excellent practice in this area and provide a list of useful resources.
• provide an overview of the evidence underpinning music and dementia programmes and suggest constructive approaches to evaluation.
• explore the benefits of music and dementia programmes for different stakeholders in different settings, including people with dementia, management and staff of care and support organisations, musicians, commissioners of services and programmes.
• identify the key challenges that need to be met in order for music and dementia activity to grow, along with potential responses to these challenges.
• propose ways of continuing, sharing and expanding the learning from the seminar.

How can you use it?
• to understand the depth and breadth of the potential contribution of music to dementia care.
• to draw on work already done in the field and to make contact with those involved in this work.
• to create dialogue across artistic, academic, clinical and managerial groups about how music can be used effectively in different care settings for people with dementia.
• to develop evidence-based programmes.
• to make a case for funding music-based initiatives and research.

JGN_feb2014Article: Music-Assisted Bathing: Making Shower Time Easier for People with Dementia by Kendra D. Ray, Suzanne Fitzsimmons. Journal of Gerontological Nursing Vol.40, No. 2, 2014, p.9-13

It is estimated that 90% of nursing home residents need assistance with bathing. The purpose of this article is to describe a music-assisted care technique that can be used by caregivers when bathing nursing home residents with dementia. Research suggests that music has many therapeutic benefits for people with dementia. Using music to soothe anxiety can be an effective intervention to assist with lessening of agitation during activities of daily living, especially bathing. This article will provide nursing and direct care staff tools to successfully conduct the music-assisted bathing protocol. Consideration for choosing appropriate music for bathing, the creation of individualized personalized playlists, and acknowledgement of desired outcomes are presented. Incorporating music-assisted bathing may address neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia by lessening agitation and improving mood, which in turn can increase job satisfaction.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

music therapy and neurological rehabilitationBook: Music therapy and neurobiological rehabilitation : performing health  /  Edited by David Aldridge  (2005)

The central tenet of this innovative collection is that identity can be regarded as a performance, achieved through and in dialogue with others. The authors show that where neuro-degenerative disease restricts movement, communication and thought processes and impairs the sense of self, music therapy and neurological rehabilitation can help to restore the performance of identity within which clients can recognise themselves. Emphasis is placed on identity as a chosen performance, not one imposed by a pathological process – the individual is not defined by the disease. The authors show that music therapy is an effective intervention in neurological rehabilitation, successfully restoring the performance of identity within which clients can recognise themselves. It can also aid clients affected by dementia, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis, among other neuro-generative diseases. Music Therapy and Neurological Rehabilitation is an authoritative and comprehensive text that will be of interest to practicing music therapists, students and academics in the field.

Chapter four of this book focuses on the role of music therapy as an intervention for people with dementia.

jdc_marchapril2015Article: ‘That was an amazing one!’ Music therapy in dementia care by Elizabeth Nightingale, The Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 23, No. 2, March/April 2015

The story of how music therapy helped to restore one man’s individuality and his relationship with his partner.Elizabeth Nightingale is a music therapist with adults with dementia.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

AJDCfebmar14Article: The healing power of music by Vanessa Solomon, Australian Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 3, No. 1, February/March 2014, p.17-18

Music therapy for people with dementia has been well-documented in many peer-reviewed academic journals, but it is still a relatively underused practice for supporting people with dementia. As a Registered Music Therapist (RMT), I personally experience the benefit of using music therapy for people with dementia, and believe it is one of the most accessible person-centred interventions. It is cost-effective for residential aged-care facilities and enjoyable for residents, staff and families. The best part is that it can facilitate meaningful experiences for people involved in all stages of dementia and is a way of involving their families.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

aust_ageing_agenda_mar2014_webArticle: Dementia: Music to their ears by Diana Kerr, Australian Ageing Agenda, March – April 2014, p.52-53

There is a substantial body of evidence showing the crucial role that music plays in support of people with dementia, writes Diana Kerr.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.