Studies have shown that listening to music can lead to increased levels of melatonin, a hormone which contributes to mood regulation, decreased aggression, reduced depression and enhanced sleep. We encourage you to try the strategies below to help you incorporate music into caregiving, which will benefit both you and the care recipient.
Discover happy tunes.
- Talk with your loved one about happy times in their life and especially those connected to music. Maybe a favorite memory at a church event or a concert they attended. No matter the memory, try to narrow down a style or two of music (i.e. blues, jazz, rock and roll, country, opera, etc.) that makes you and your loved one smile. These styles can serve as your “go-to” options and lift your spirits when moments are stressful.
Engage younger generations.
- Music has the power to connect generations. Kids and grandkids can help you care for your loved one by assisting you and creating a playlist of favorite music.
Pick the right setting.
- Listening to music outside might bring you and your loved one joy or being in a quiet inside room might work best. For some, listening to live music can be therapeutic, whereas others may feel that it is chaotic. Try different settings to determine what works best for you and your loved one.
Let your music play.
- Determine styles of music that you enjoy and take moments to listen to your favorites. If your loved one responds well to them, you can listen together, or you can use headphones to listen alone. Either way, music is incredibly therapeutic for caregivers and allows an opportunity to recharge.
Adapted from the Alzheimer’s Association. Click here to read the full article.