Dogs & Music Helping Those with Dementia for Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
What do dogs and music have in common? They are both being used in out-of-the-box solutions to improve the quality of life for those suffering from dementia. Local memory care communities have found that having their residents play with dogs and engage with music is helping those dealing with dementia open up, improve cognitive skills and relax.
Innovative solutions like these are so crucial because the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is expected to more than double by 2050.
Dogs & Dementia
Residents find joy, purpose and improved mental health by connecting with Kirby the rescue dog. Whether it’s having Kirby sit on a resident’s lap or encouraging them to take him on a walk, engaging with the pup helps keep their minds sharp and their moods boosted. Interacting with four-legged friends is a great way to increase the seniors’ levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, combatting the extra stress levels brought on by dementia.
Music therapy is a nurturing, loving, and thoroughly person-centered way to activate the brain in ways that bring back a piece of who they are at their core. Different types of music are used for different people, depending on their therapy goals and the person’s physical and mental condition.
With one person, they may use music to stimulate their creativity.
With another, it may be to tap into their memories.
And with yet another, it may be to get their body moving — which supports their ability and willingness to engage in activities of daily living, like teeth-brushing and bathing.
Music may have been created for entertainment, but with this unique approach, it becomes a therapeutic tool to help activate the brain in ways that bring back a piece of who a person is at their core.
Available for Interviews:
Memory Care Program Director Sandy Steeves and her rescue pup Kirby at The Providence are available to speak about how dogs can improve the lives of those with dementia.
Memory Care Program Director Sara Woodward at The Seneca is available to speak about her unique music therapy methods.