Music is beloved by individuals across a wide spectrum of ages and diagnoses. Music can be strongly associated with memories of time spent with family and friends throughout the many stages of life. How can clinicians harness the use of music into a meaningful intervention?
Music therapy is the “clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals.” The American Music Therapy Association, Inc. (AMTA) offers several fact sheets on their website to outline the way credentialed music therapists work with their patients, regardless of their home setting. Music therapists can also work one-on-one with patients or in groups. To find those fact sheets, visit their website at https://www.musictherapy.org/research/factsheets/.
One fact sheet outlines the general goals of music therapy interventions with patients living with Alzheimer’s disease. Research suggests that music therapy has been effective even when patients have been resistant to other interventions. “Music is a form of sensory stimulation, which provokes responses due to the familiarity, predictability, and feelings of security associated with it.” Following the assessment of the needs of each patient, music therapists develop a plan that can incorporate instrumental and vocal music strategies with the goal of improving functioning. Music therapists often work within interdisciplinary teams to help improve the patient’s overall quality of life. For patients with advancing Alzheimer’s disease, music therapy can help facilitate some movement and expressiveness from a patient who had been previously unresponsive.
Music therapy is also intended to provide respite for both professional and family caregivers. For family members of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, music therapy can help facilitate meaningful, positive, and creative time spent together with their loved one. Together, families along with their loved one can find opportunities to reminisce about family bonds.
To access the full AMTA fact sheet, visit https://www.musictherapy.org/assets/1/7/MT_Alzheimers_2006.pdf.
At Weatherby & Associates, PC, we are passionate about learning about interventions that may benefit the lives of older adults and their families. We are here to help you through the process of caring for an aging loved one. We operate as a multidisciplinary team and one of our primary goals is to help improve the quality of life of our clients. For more information, contact our office at 860-769-6938.
Music Therapy Alzheimer’s