Why music and dementia

Presently, there is no pharmacological cure for dementia, though research is ongoing in many areas.

Music has a valuable role to play in enhancing quality of life for people living with the syndrome, and their carers. It has the power to bring people together in the here and now, providing a way to stay connected with loved ones and carers through shared experiences.

It can enliven, stimulate and enable people to express themselves creatively beyond words. This involvement enables people to be seen for who they are beyond their diagnosis.

“Music imprints itself in the brain deeper than any other human experience.
Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring memory. Music brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.”

Dr. Oliver Sacks

Research and lived experiences show that music can help reduce the often-distressing symptoms of dementia, such as agitation, apathy and anxiety.

This support to emotional and psychological health and wellbeing comes at a time when emotions can be overwhelming or difficult to process or manage.

Retired GP Jennifer Bute, who lives with dementia, explains why music is essential.

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