There’s an ever growing body of evidence that music can have a powerful influence in reducing agitation, apathy and psychological distress in people living with dementia. 

Neurologist, Oliver Sacks explains, “Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other human experience. Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring with it memory.”

Musical aptitude and appreciation remain far longer than most other abilities so even into the most advanced stages of dementia, music can still provide a way of reaching beyond the disease to the person.

Recent research has found that music in its various forms can improve both a person’s physical health and mental wellbeing.

Senior man with headphones

Benefits music can bring to people living with dementia

  • Improved mood

  • Reduced need for antipsychotic medication

  • Boosting confidence

  • Promoting relaxation

  • Improved awareness

  • Preserving sense of identity

  • Providing a means of reconnecting with loved ones - particularly when verbal communication becomes too difficult.

Ways to incorporate music into dementia care

So whether its listening to live or recorded music, singing along, participating in live music making, creating a personal playlist of favourite musical tracks, or undertaking music therapy with a trained therapist, there are sound reasons to incorporate music into your daytime routine.

Music for Dementia 2020

A useful source of advice is the Music for Dementia 2020 website which has the clear mission of making music available to everyone living with dementia by 2020.


The website is a central hub of information, containing evidence based research on  why music is so beneficial, and practical information on how people can engage in musical activity of one sort or another to suit them.

To find out more about the possibilities, click here to visit the Music for Dementia 2020 website.

Rathside Care Home is a modern, dementia specialist residential care home in Scawby near  Scunthorpe that provides a comfortable “home from home” atmosphere for those who are living with dementia. We provide a day care service, short term respite breaks, and full time residential care. If you’d like to arrange a free taster day or to find out more about our specialist dementia provision, please phone us on 01652 462030.

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