Music Makes us dementia project header

Five things you didn’t know about music and dementia

Music stirs memories, reduces agitation and creates moments of joyful connection

At The Brain Charity, we know music can play a vital role in the daily care of people living with dementia – it stirs memories, reduces agitation and creates moments of joyful connection.

That’s why we’ve launched our Music Makes Us! online therapy workshops to be shared in households and care homes all over the UK.

Sign up to the 12-week video programme here, or email kym@thebraincharity.org.uk for more information.

In this guest blog, Kym Ward, Dementia Project Coordinator at The Brain Charity, shares five facts you might not know about the relationship between music and dementia.

1. Have you ever heard of the ‘memory bump’?

Evidence suggests that the music you enjoy and hear between the ages of 10 and 30 sticks with you. It seems that people living with dementia retain this music in their memories the clearest. This phenomenon is called the ‘memory bump’!

2. Music can reduce agitation for people living with dementia

If you play music for 30 minutes before doing a task that a person normally doesn’t like, it can reduce negative behaviour.

Dementia workshop at The Brain Charity in Liverpool

3. Did you know that some people living with dementia can learn new songs?

A study found that a lady living with Alzheimer’s was able to recall a brand new song she’d learnt, even 2 weeks later!

4. Music is what’s known as a ‘super stimulus’

The memory of a song might untap a feeling, time or smell that went along with it! Singing a song is possible even if a person is no longer able to speak, because music activates many connected parts of the brain.

5. People living with dementia can crave music

A study found that people’s reward systems are activated when they listen to music, making them want more!

Categories: Features, Guest blogs, News

Published: 19 March 2021