Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Why Singing is Great Therapy For Dementia Patients

There's been a ton of stuff written lately about the positive role of music for people with dementia. If you are a caregiver, perhaps you've noticed that your loved one can sing songs from the past almost perfectly even when speaking just a few words is difficult to impossible. Why is this?

Well, I'm no expert, but Speech Pathologists tell me that singing is handled by a different part of the brain than speech. Whatever, just pay attention next time you are in a group setting at an assisted living facility or nursing home. You'll probably see a lot of smiling faces as you hear the residents singing songs from their youth.

For more information, check out the article, "The Power of Music" in the March 2013 issue of the AARP Bulletin. Another great source is Robbin Rio's book, "Connecting Through Music With People With Dementia (http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book/9781843109051).

Then try a singalong with your loved one. You'll be glad you did.

Robert Tell, Author