The Secret Link Between Singing and Memory

Sarah Dessen said, “Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.”
But it seems that music not only unites people with each other, but also with their own minds.
As we mentioned in an earlier blog post, researchers began a singing lab with seniors who have moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease.  The seniors were brought together three times a week to share the music of their youth.  Half of the participants were lead in singing songs from their young adulthood while the other half listened.
While the seniors did equally well on cognitive tests early on after the music sessions, after a few months the results changed.  The seniors who participated in the singing began doing much better than those who just listened.  Not only that, but they reported a higher quality of life as well.
Interestingly, the seniors, even in advanced stages of dementia, could remember music from their youth, even if it was only for a short time.  The researchers think recalling music may be easier than other memories.
This information gives us a new tool when working with someone with Alzheimer’s disease.  Putting on music from their childhood or young adulthood may trigger memories that they didn’t know they had, especially if they try to sing along.  It is a simple way to connect with and help a senior with dementia.  Music may be a greater force than we thought when it comes to Alzheimer’s.
Visit the website of Freedom Home Care to learn about specialized in-home care for seniors in the Chicagoland area. Give us a call today and learn how we can help.