In her latest blog post, Learning Disabilities Admiral Nurse Jane Nickels explores the impact music can have on someone with dementia.
This month I’ve had my first anniversary with MacIntyre and it’s just flown by. This led me to reflect on all the things that have happened over the past year and how many amazing people I have met along the way.
I can’t imagine how it would feel to lose those memories and forget those amazing people, but there are things we can do to support people who are experiencing memory loss.
Dementia and changed behaviour
We know dementia isn’t all about memory. This is particularly true of people with a learning disability. Changes to a person’s mood or behaviour changes are the first things people may notice before a formal diagnosis is made.
You can read more about this here - Changed Behaviour | MacIntyre (macintyrecharity.org) and Signs and Symptoms of Dementia | MacIntyre (macintyrecharity.org)
How can music help someone with dementia?
Music is incredibly powerful and is just one of the ways we can support people living with dementia. Research has shown us that music can reduce agitation, encourage self-expression and inspire engagement for people with dementia. This is also true for those without dementia in my opinion.
How often have you turned up the volume to your favourite song in the car and sung your heart out, or danced around the front room like no one is watching? Have you ever heard a song that brought back a fond memory? Feels good, doesn’t it?
If you know the person well and you know their favourite tune or clip from a film, then why not pop it on and start singing and see what happens. If they don’t sing along with you, at least you would have given them something to giggle at!
For more tips and helpful information regarding dementia, I’ve popped a couple of links below from the MacIntyre website and other great resources:
- Dignity and Respect | MacIntyre
- Living Well with Dementia | MacIntyre
- The Power of Music in Dementia Care | Elder
- Playlist for Life: Meaningful music for people with dementia | Alzheimer's Society (alzheimers.org.uk)
- Real-life stories – Playlist for Life
For updates on dementia, follow @jane_nickels or @DementiaLD on Twitter.