12 Sep Music Helps Patients with Dementia Connect with Loved Ones
ABSTRACT: This article summarizes a Northwestern Medicine study, in collaboration with Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA), which shows that the gap between Alzheimer patients and caregivers can be bridged with a new music intervention. In the intervention — developed at ITA and called “Musical Bridges to Memory” — a live ensemble plays music from a patient’s youth such as songs from the musicals “Oklahoma” or “The Sound of Music.” This creates an emotional connection between a patient and their caregiver by allowing them to interact with the music together via singing, dancing and playing simple instruments, the study authors said. The program also enhanced patients’ social engagement and reduced neuropsychiatric symptoms such as agitation, anxiety and depression in both patients and caregivers.
AUTHOR SUMMARY: Marla Paul