How a Music Therapist Helps People with Dementia

    In January, a study found that many people with dementia could significantly improve by listening to and playing music — yet it suggested that only 5 per cent of care homes are using music therapy effectively. The memory of a song might evoke a particular time, place or smell, as well as activate parts of the brain related to sound, words, rhythm and emotion.

    “It’s frustrating when music therapy is viewed as a singalong, rather than a treatment that can make a difference to the quality of care people receive and improve their lives,” says Ming Hung Hsu. “We can help people with dementia by improving their mood, enhancing their ability to communicate and helping staff find ways of managing their symptoms.”

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