A carefully curated music playlist can lift mood, provide motivation during a hard workout, or calm a racing mind. Recent research has also found that music is often closely tied to memory and people living with dementia can benefit from the reminiscence therapy that familiar music can provide. A UK-based later life care team has created two playlists of hit songs dating back to the 1930s that help people with dementia enjoy a nostalgic musical journey.
According to a recent New York Post Health report, the playlists researched and created by Lottie offer caregivers a convenient way to encourage light exercise and boost mood with danceable tunes, or to access calming songs to lower blood pressure and agitation. Available on Spotify, each song is scored and ranked to demonstrate its ability to calm people suffering from dementia or life spirits and provide moments of joy.
According to Lottie, 900,000 people in the UK are currently living with dementia, and research has found music can help those living with the condition. Calming music eases stress and anxiety, helping create a more restful environment – especially at night when some people with dementia experience sundowning. Upbeat, energetic music can offer opportunities for pure joy. Happy music has been found to release pleasure chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that can positively affect the brain, improving attention, concentration and memory.
Music can provide seniors with mood-boosting moments of escape as well as comfort, joy, and a vehicle to express emotions. Caregivers can access age-specific dementia playlists on Spotify to zone in on hits from the appropriate era. Those 80-89, those between 70 and 79, and seniors aged 60 to 69. Adults aged 90-99 and those 100-109 also have their own upbeat playlist.
Music therapy is an inexpensive and non-invasive activity for people with dementia that can be used at home and in care facilities to help enhance the lives of older adults with cognitive challenges. Whether listening to music in a group, singing in a choir or informally, music can help alleviate isolation, spark memories, facilitate communication, and improve quality of life.