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Alzheimer’s and Music: How to Engage and Bring Comfort and Joy to Your Loved One – Part II

Last week I wrote about how to engage your loved one with Alzheimer’s by listening to music. Today I’ll talk about how to actually engage them in performing music.

Sing-alongs: This is a favorite activity in nursing homes, and you can arrange family sing-alongs, enjoyable for everyone, for loved ones living at home.

Individual Patient Performances:  Patients can be given drums, tambourines or other simple percussion instruments to “play” while singing or listening to music. This can bring smiles to previously blank faces. You can also have patients who previously played instruments try to play them again. Those with mild dementia may be capable and would enjoy playing a little.

As I mentioned the last time, it’s best to use music that was popular when your loved one was young. Also, be sure to avoid music that is loud or dissonant, and don’t play music that’s sad or could remind your loved one of sad events in his or her life.

Experiment with the above approaches to see if any work. Following these simple guidelines may give you and your family new ways to connect, interact and bring joy and comfort to your loved one.

(Source of this story: By Marie Marley)

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One Response to “Alzheimer’s and Music: How to Engage and Bring Comfort and Joy to Your Loved One – Part II”

  1. Jane Morrison from Huntington WV says:

    My father used to play the trombone, so after I read this I went out to the garage and got his trombone. I was really surprised when he started playing “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” It wasn’t as good as he used to play, but he did get through the whole thing, then put down the trombone and with a big smile on his face, said,”What would you like me to play next?”

    He’s been playing a little bit every day now and really enjoys it.

    Thanks for making this suggetion.

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