Brain health depends on several lifestyle factors in the same way the body does. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly and staying socially and physically active can contribute to positive overall health. In addition to the previously mentioned, studies have shown that keeping the mind active by listening to music or playing an instrument is a great way to help seniors improve their memory and even ward off dementia!
Extensive research suggests that simply listening to music may help to delay or prevent dementia in the elderly. Researchers have discovered that music has the power to sooth its listeners and arouse long-forgotten memories. How does music produce these results? Most people have a memory that is associated with a song or sound. When they hear that tune, a positive memory or emotion is evoked which acts as a stimulant to the brain. As a result, a senior who listens to a beloved song can activate past memories and strengthen specific brain functions.
Additionally, music can help provide relief from frustration which has been extremely helpful in calming dementia patients. The familiarity of a sound offers comfort and experts agree that elderly adults who may be at risk of developing dementia, or who are beginning to suffer from memory loss, can benefit from listening to music from their past. In fact, premier home health care providers in Greater Hartford have successfully used music therapy in working with the elderly and have concluded that listening and participating in music activities produces positive results.
Seniors learning to play an instrument or picking up an instrument they used to play can also be helpful in preventing the on-set of dementia, as well as managing the symptoms of the illness. Playing an instrument requires focus and concentration and reading notes or playing a melody in tune engages the brain. The more a senior plays, the more they are working out and strengthening their cognitive abilities.
Do you have an aging parent or elderly loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia? Click here to learn about the specialized dementia care provided by Home Care Assistance of Greater Hartford. To speak with a Care Manager directly, dial 860-372-4500 and ask about our dementia therapeutics program which offers a new approach to slowing cognitive decline.