music for the elderly


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The use of music as a therapeutic tool is well documented.

Music is made up of seven concepts: duration, structure, dynamics, pitch, tone colour and texture and because of this structure, music stimulates many incredible responses as it accesses many different parts of the brain.

The use of therapeutic music and song for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia is particularly powerful as the rhythmic response elicited is primarily in the motor centre of the brain that requires little or no cognitive or mental processing. Music can bypass damaged areas of brain tissue and activate specific pathways to generate responses in other parts of the brain. Music with active participation, promotes physiological, emotional and social capabilities and by combining music and language in song, increases neurological activation much more than language alone.

There are different types of dementia: for example; mild cognitive, Alzheimer’s, vascular, lewy bodies, and frontal lobe dementia. Each will have differing symptoms and each will affect those affected in differing ways. It is unfortunately possible for a person to experience more than one type.

In 2010, it was estimated that there were about 820,000 people in the United Kingdom living with dementia, a figure that has risen and, will continue to do so. There will of course be some people who are also living with dementia as an undiagnosed condition.

Although dementia is perceived to be a condition that affects the elderly, it is not limited to that group. There are some 15,000 people with dementia under the age of 65.

Whether the brain is starved of oxygen, whether through abnormal build-up of proteins or, through some form of trauma to the brain, a person can lose function and memory or, lose inhibitions and act inappropriately.

Sometimes, the person affected knows what is happening to them, and in other cases - particularly advanced cases, they may not. Either way, those affected are easily confused, easily frightened and often will withdraw or ‘live’ in a period other than the present.

Music helps to connect people with memories, usually of good times, of socialisation and fun and even when that connection isn’t made, simply the sound and rhythm of good quality music allows the person to become more animated, enabling them to interact, mobilise, exercise and be entertained.

The Kiddleydivey music for dementia programmes, provide good quality music and songs that encourage interaction, mobility and socialisation. Every session has been developed by a professional musician and doctor of musicology. The sessions are themed and involve a number of different props and visual aids to stimulate interest and enjoyment along with percussion instruments and bass drums to encourage interaction, involvement and self-expression.
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Kiddleydivey Music Provides:

  • fun, engaging and stimulating music programmes
  • structured programmes increases brain activity and incorporates brain exercises that may help to delay some symptoms of dementia and keep the mind working better for longer.
  • improved socialisation for the people we work with
  • easier mobility and effective exercise where appropriate
  • individuals with the opportunity to 'ground', stabilise and achieve emotional comfort through activation of memories

Kiddleydivey bring so much energy to their music sessions. They light up our home....which gets the residents singing dancing clapping foot tapping and above all else smiling....we are privileged to have them come.
- Chalfont Lodge Care Home