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Can Music Help to Prevent Dementia?

By Rick Cohen, 2:39 pm on

At Home Care Assistance, we always stay up to date in the latest developments in Milwaukee senior care so we can pass that valuable information onto our senior clients and their loved ones.  Today, we’d like to share an article with our readers about preventing, combating and managing dementia in an unconventional way.

In a new CNN Health article, “Playing for time: Can music stave off dementia?” author Elizabeth Landau cites a few different references that suggest learning an instrument can help prevent the onset of dementia.  According to the article, cases of dementia are expected to nearly triple by2050.  This statistic may be alarming, but a new research study is underway, and early signs are showing that music may help!  More specifically, the study suggests playing an instrument for at least ten years can delay dementia by up to five years.

The study is based on the sharpened and enhanced cognitive skills that you or your aging loved ones can acquire from playing an instrument. Much like learning another language, these activities allow aging adults to create new learning pathways and synapses. The more pathways that are created, the more power you or your loved one’s brain have in combating the onset of dementia. In fact, Landau goes on to say that seniors with instrument training under their belt “performed better at tasks of object-naming, visuospatial memory and rapid mental processing and flexibility than those who didn’t play at all.”

So the resounding question is: should we teach ourselves or our aging loved ones to play an instrument even if there are already signs of dementia? While researchers are not certain if playing an instrument can help slow down the progression of the disease for seniors who have already been diagnosed, everyone seems in agreement that there are clear benefits.

At Milwaukee Home Care Assistance, we encourage our senior clients to stay active, participate in hobbies and to stay socially engaged as they enter their golden years. Whether it’s learning a new instrument or simply listening to music, continuing to enjoy these activities with age can have a profound effect on a senior’s health and general sense of well-being.

Want to learn more about specialty dementia and Alzheimer’s care in Milwaukee? Contact a Care Manager today and learn how we can help you or an aging loved one manage the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s. We would love to help make a positive difference in your life and/or the life of your aging loved one.