With most topics involving dementia, the push is for more research, more funding, and more awareness.
Educating nursing and care homes about what works – and what doesn’t work – when treating dementia patients is a big part of what I do. Caregivers are often on their own when trying to solve the puzzle of caring best for their patients. One important avenue that hasn’t been fully explored is the role music can play in the treatment of a dementia patient.
A study that used existing evidence, as well as interviews with experts, found that music can help people with dementia with both major symptoms: recall of information and anxiety. The study found increasing evidence that music can “delay the onset of dementia,” which is an exciting revelation that deserves further research.
The study also found that only 5 percent of care homes in the UK are utilizing music in a way that helps and suggested that the National Health System (NHS) should promote music therapy.
Slowing the onset of dementia can also slow the cost of care for dementia patients, which makes investing in further research studies fruitful and critical. Many of the same techniques that slow the onset of dementia can also be effective treatments for dementia.
Continued research is a great sign of progress for patients and their caregivers!