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Music therapy hits the right notes as dementia treatment

For people living with dementia, day-to-day life can be a struggle, with family homes becoming unfamiliar and loved ones appearing as strangers. While a substantial amount of research goes into curing the disease, equally important is finding ways to support the 50 million people worldwide who are currently living with it.

A new study led by the University of Melbourne is looking into the power of music as treatment for depression and dementia.

Professor Felicity Baker, who is spearheading the research, commented, “Songs can represent your identity, and when you write songs, they can tell your story.

“One of the beautiful things about music is that it takes participants in an agitated state back to safe and pleasurable memories, helping to bring them out of their shells.”

The focus of the study will be on the depression which often comes hand-in hand with people who have dementia; according to a study by Dementia Australia, 40-50% of people living with dementia also have depression. Being unable to remember what you are meant to be doing or who people are can be frustrating and scary, and if the person is also depressed it can make forgetfulness and confusion worse.

The study will look at four different groups of people living with dementia, with varying levels of music therapy introduced to their day-to-day activities. From the control group with no music therapy, to the fourth group who will take part in a combination of small group of music therapy and larger recreational choir singing. You can read more about the study on the University of Melbourne website.

Listening to music is such a personal pastime, everyone has a favourite song that reminds them of a happy time in their lives. This new study hopes to harness the power of music to improve the lives of those living with dementia.

If you’re interested in dementia care for your loved one in the Hounslow, Hillingdon or Ealing areas, please call us on 0203 8050610 today, or email us at [email protected]

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