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5 Types of Music That Appeal to People with Severe Dementia

Certain types of music have qualities that make them particularly appropriate


This article is based on information provided by Home Instead Senior Care.

If you’re caring for someone with dementia, you may have heard about the benefits of music. Sometimes music can calm or engage a person with dementia, or it may trigger positive memories. Even for people whose dementia has progressed, music can have a certain resonance. The different types of music listed below may have particular appeal for people with dementia.

1. Hits from someone’s late teens or 20s. Maybe because young adults are such avid listeners (and, back in the day, dancers), music from this phase of one’s life has been shown to be especially favored decades later.

2. Jazz or bluegrass. Even someone who never was an aficionado may groove to a style with a strong bass line.

3. Holiday tunes. It doesn’t have to be December for you to play Christmas music. Holiday songs have a persistent and special hold on us, whatever our faith.

4. Religious standards. A person who regularly attended services may still respond to hymns and other worship music.

5. Music from childhood. Children’s music leaves a very early imprint on us. It is a huge part of our formative years, and if we are parents, we listen to it again with our offspring. Because very old memories tend to last longest, some older adults still connect with nursery rhymes.

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