Patients with Alzheimer’s tend to experience memory loss, disorientation, changes in mood or behavior, and also difficulty in speech and movement. Music therapy uses multiple interventions throughout each session targeting these issues for mastery. Research shows that music therapy can potentially help patients with Alzheimer’s in the following ways:

  • Memory recall which contributes to reminiscence and satisfaction with life
  • Positive changes in mood and emotional states
  • Sense of control over life through successful experiences
  • Awareness of self and environment
  • Anxiety and stress reduction for older adult and caregiver
  • Non-pharmacological management of pain and discomfort
  • Stimulation which provokes interest when no other approach is effective
  • Structure which promotes rhythmic and continuous movement or vocal fluency as an adjunct to physical rehabilitation
  • Emotional intimacy when spouses and families share creative music experiences
  • Social interaction with caregivers and families

(List provided (by) The American Music Therapy Association, Inc

Music therapists generally get the best results with Alzheimer’s patients in individual sessions, but group sessions over a longer period of time can also be beneficial. Once the time, place, and therapist become part of the patient’s predictable schedule, positive results follow.