The power of music to help someone with dementia

Music has almost magical powers. It lifts the spirit and stimulates the brain. And now, it seems, it might help those suffering from dementia.

A new study finds that singing classic hits from musicals boosts the mental performance of people with dementia.

For this study, researchers form George Mason University in Virginia chose show tunes – songs they knew would be familiar to seniors in a care facility, like The Sound of Music, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Oklahoma.

Those who sang the songs had better mental performance as compared to those who just listened to the music. These were 50-minute group sessions once a week for four months.

It appears that singing songs from the past can activate various parts of the brain and stimulate memories that have not been lost.

The takeaway message here is important. Don't give up on someone, even when their mental decline is advanced. Do things that will engage them. Singing fits the bill.

More Information:

How the Sound of Music can help people suffering from Alzheimer's

Music, Art and Alzheimer's