Do you want to treat music with dementia?

Do you want to treat music with dementia?

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Music has far-reaching positive effects in dementia

What effect does music have on dementia? British scientists from the International Longevity Center - UK and the Utley Foundation have investigated this question and have now presented the first results. The focus was particularly on the use of music in the prevention, treatment and care of people with dementia. According to the scientists, music has numerous positive effects on dementia patients.

The interdisciplinary research team, with the participation of Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia at the NHS England, examined how music-based activities can change the lives of people with dementia. The report now presented with the first research results makes it clear "that music in people with dementia - regardless of their gender, ethnic origin or social background - can improve communication and reduce anxiety, inner restlessness and depression," according to the Utley Foundation.

Dementia has so far been incurable

Millions of people suffer from dementia and the number of diseases will increase dramatically in both the UK and Germany in the coming decades. Those affected show an increasing loss of their cognitive abilities and are thereby massively impaired in their everyday life - right up to complete need for care. So far, dementia has not been curable, but early diagnosis can delay the course of the disease.

Too little access to music therapy

"Despite growing evidence of the value of music for people with dementia, not enough is being done to improve access to appropriate music-based activities," said ILC-UK CEO Sally Greengross. In terms of special music therapy, the current availability in Great Britain is only around 30 seconds per week per person with dementia. Only very few people benefit "from this valuable intervention", continues Greengross.

Use therapeutic options

The current report uses a large number of individual reports to explain "what we currently know about the effects of music on dementia", Greengross and colleagues explain. The experts also point out ways in which our aging society can benefit from this little used therapeutic option. "Music shouldn't just be seen as nice-to-have," emphasizes Sally Bowell from ILC-UK.

Evidence-based benefits of music

According to the researchers, music has “tangible, evidence-based benefits for people with dementia, such as minimizing behavioral and psychological symptoms, fighting depression and anxiety, and, more importantly, improving quality of life.” But people with According to the experts, dementia often live in a quiet world. Music could really bring them back to life here. “We want to draw attention to the important advantages of music and to support organizations and individuals alike in promoting access to music for people with dementia,” emphasize the researchers. (fp)

Author and source information

Video: Gladys Wilson and Naomi Feil (May 2022).


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