Have you heard? As a caretaker for your loved one with Alzheimer’s, you can use music as a tool in helping to connect with each other in profoundly positive ways. That’s because music affects the brain much like a workout affects our bodies.
The mental exercise of listening to music, like physical exercise, increases the hormone melatonin. Melatonin regulates our circadian rhythm, which affects things like sleep and mood patterns. Studies show that for people with Alzheimer’s, “music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function and coordinate motor movements.”
So, as a caretaker, imagine what music can do for you.
Music is a great stress-reliever, and you have a stressful job. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association says that if you don’t find ways to manage stress, you can harm not only yourself, but your loved one too.
If your patience is wearing thin, you’re having trouble concentrating, or you’re too exhausted to get through the day, you are stressed out. Listening to your favorite music can help you relax as well as lift your spirits.
“Whether it is creating your own playlist to lift your mood when you have a ‘down day’ or just taking pleasure in watching your loved one become engaged, music can make your heart soar.”
In fact, one activity the Alzheimer’s Association recommends is that you and your loved one “dance together to favorite music.”
But, also consider some time away. There are compassionate caregiving services that can step in so that you can get out and do something enjoyable, like take in a live concert, or go to a Zumba class to dance your troubles away.
Whether alone or shared with your loved one, music as therapy heals mind, body and spirit.