“We’ve all experienced the powerful influence that music can have on our lives,” says Lonette Bentley, Executive Director at Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola. When we’re tired and lethargic, upbeat music can give us a lift. And when we need to relax and unwind, the right music can be soothing and calming.”
Memory care experts, including those at The Mayo Clinic and the Alzheimer’s Association, are touting the magic of music as an effective therapy for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Hitting a High Note: Music’s Multiple Benefits in Memory Care
Music therapy is a form of social engagement therapy – also called holistic therapies – that serve to reconnect loved ones with the world around them and help to reduce common symptoms of memory loss such as anxiety, agitation, aggression and apathy.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association Newsletter, listening to live music and being involved in live music making experiences empowers those receiving memory care to emerge from the isolation imposed by their progressive memory loss.
The beneficial aspects of music include:
- Improved memory and recollection
- Positive changes in moods and emotional states and an increased sense of connectedness, belonging and personal dignity
- Stimulation that promotes interest even when other approaches are ineffective
- Opportunities to engage and interact socially with others
- Non-pharmacological management of pain and discomfort
- A sense of control in their life
- Encourages rhythmic, continuous movement and vocal fluency
Tips for Using Music with Your Loved One at Home
As a memory care therapy, music is easy to provide to your loved at home. It can create fond memories for them and a chance to relive some of their happiest times.
The Alzheimer’s Association, suggests several proven ways that at-home caregivers can offer music to loved ones in the home environment. For example:
- Choose Music from Their “Good Old Days” – Identify music that is familiar and enjoyable to your loved one. If possible, let them choose the music.
- Promote Social Engagement – Singing along and movements such clapping and dancing can add to the enjoyment. You can join in the fun, too!
- Set the Right Mood – Use music to create the mood you want. For example, a tranquil piece of music can help create a calm environment, while a faster paced song from someone's youth may boost spirit and evoke happy memories.
- Avoid Sensory Overload – Eliminate competing noises by shutting windows and doors and by turning off the television. Make sure the volume of the music is not too loud.
- Limit the Interruptions – Choose a source of music that won’t be disrupted by commercials, which can cause confusion. Try internet radio like Pandora channels, or use an iPod or CD player.
Music is Helpful to Caregivers as Well
Sherri Snelling, CEO and founder of Caregiving Club and author of the article “Caregivers Take Note – Music as Therapy,” says that music can be very beneficial to busy caregivers as well. She states that “Music as therapy is not just for your loved one. We know that caregivers encounter increased stress over caring for a loved one. Studies show that listening to music can lead to increased secretion levels of melatonin, a hormone associated with mood regulation, lower aggression, reduced depression and enhanced sleep. Using music to cope with these common caregiver complaints can be a welcome relief to caregiver burn-out.”
Memory Care with a Commitment to Purposeful Living
“At Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola, we utilize many different forms of proven social engagement therapies including those that involve music, art, reminiscence, exercise, pets, aromas and more.” Lonette adds, “Here, our person-centered programming is more than a calendar of activities – it encompasses meaningful activity and hope.
“Using the approach based on the Heartfelt CONNECTIONS™ Memory Care program, our memory care-trained team uses specific tools that enable us to learn each resident’s life story to customize therapies and form strong bonds and relationships. Our programming celebrates yesterday’s accomplishments, recognizes today’s milestones and focuses on the dignity, comfort and laughter our residents will enjoy tomorrow.”
The Clarity Pointe Difference is the culmination of many factors, from purpose-built facility design and specialized staff to innovative programming and unprecedented services that enhance the quality of life for our residents and their families.
Supporting At-Home Caregivers and Families with information and Guidance
At Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola, we recognize the many challenges memory care caregivers face, and we’re always here to help. In addition to providing exceptional memory care for loved ones with memory loss, we also offer a variety of resources for families to help them meet the challenges of caring for a loved one with memory loss while continuing to have meaningful interactions and relationships.
You can also view Clarity Pointe’s valuable memory care articles and tips for at-home caregivers that address a variety of helpful topics that you can put to use today. And as we prepare for our grand opening this December, we invite you to visit our website for ongoing updates and information.”
Clarity Pointe … Our Difference is Clear
Clarity Pointe’s Specialized Memory Care “Living” Neighborhoods are truly changing lives for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias – and for those who love them. At Clarity Pointe, our mission is to ensure our residents lead connected and rewarding lives.
Unlike other providers that offer a secure memory care wing in a skilled nursing or assisted living center, Clarity Pointe Pensacola offers three freestanding, purpose-built Memory Care communities that are solely and entirely dedicated to Memory Care Assisted Living. Our communities blend luxurious surroundings with specialized care that is individualized to each resident and delivered by a compassionate, expert team of professionals.
We stay current on the latest trends and advancements in memory care and implement them into our residents’ care plans. Always moving forward, we combine the latest in evidence-based programming with luxurious, residential living, compassionate, respectful memory care and life-enriching activities that make each day meaningful.
For each of our residents, we offer a life that is engaging, fulfilling, inspiring and purposeful.