Musicality at Devonshire

Posted: Mar 13th 2024

By: Harbour Healthcare

Research has overwhelmingly shown that music can be a powerful tool for people living with dementia, offering a range of benefits across various aspects of their well-being. Here’s a breakdown of the research highlighting why music is so beneficial:

Brain Engagement and Stimulation:

  • Memory and Cognitive Function: Music activates various brain regions associated with memory, emotion, and movement. Studies suggest it can help maintain cognitive function, particularly in early stages of dementia, and even improve recall of memories from earlier in life.
  • Neural Plasticity: Engaging in musical activities like singing or playing instruments may promote neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to form new connections and adapt. This could potentially slow down cognitive decline.

Emotional and Social Benefits:

  • Mood and Anxiety Reduction: Listening to familiar or calming music can trigger positive emotions, reduce anxiety, and even alleviate symptoms of depression.
  • Improved Communication and Social Interaction: Music can act as a bridge for communication and connection, especially in later stages of dementia when verbal communication may be challenging. Singing familiar songs together can spark joy and shared memories, fostering social interaction and reducing isolation.
  • Meaningful Connections: Music often holds deep personal meaning and is linked to life experiences and emotions. Familiar tunes can evoke vivid memories and connect individuals with their past, helping them retain their sense of identity and connect with others who share similar experiences.

Physical and Motor Skills:

  • Movement and Coordination: Music with a strong rhythm can encourage movement and improve coordination, which can be beneficial for maintaining physical fitness and managing gait abnormalities.
  • Reduced Agitation and Restlessness: Calming music can have a calming effect, potentially reducing agitation and restlessness, which are common symptoms in dementia.

How it works at Devonshire House Care Home:

At Devonshire House Care Home we have reserved spaces in the weekly lifestyle program for musicality with a dedicated place for celebrating, listening and performing music. The home is always filled with music through playlists and radio in the cafe, dining rooms and even some corridors. We love to discover our residents’ and team’s favourite music tastes so that we can play music which ignites memories and happy emotions. All this is captured on Person Centred Software, aiding our residents’ all round care plans.