Could music have magical properties when it comes to restoring the memories of seniors? While “magic” is certainly an overstatement, it cannot be denied that in many cases, listening to familiar music can help boost memory in a way that is unlike many others. There is even a documentary, Alive Inside, which demonstrates this phenomenon through one man’s specific goal to provide iPods to nursing home residents. Courtesy of Berkeley, here are some of the ways music can benefit seniors.
- Research has shown that providing seniors with “late stage dementia music that has personal meaning to them for an hour at a time, 3 days a week, after 10 months they’ll score 50 percent better on cognitive tests”. Even for those whose memory is faltering, music can help them remember and even make new memories.
- Playing music which is associated with a certain period of life can evoke strong emotional memories. Depending on the individual person, music which people associate with their childhood, early teens, young adulthood, even music their own children played often in the home can trigger strong emotional response and even boost memory and cognitive ability.
- Connecting young and old is made easier when music is involved. With the digital age, music from nearly any point in time or any part of the world is easily accessible with a simple search. With technology, both young and old can partner together to access and enjoy music, leading to a stronger connection.
- Music is easily accessible with the advent of computers, iPods and other mp3 players, and smartphones. It has never been easier to access a whole world of music to create playlists of especially significant songs.
Who knew that improving memory and quality of life is as simple as listening to music? Take the time to find a couple songs that are meaningful to you or your loved one and see what memories it triggers. You may remember an experience from your life you had completely forgotten about!