How can music improve the cognitive and behavioral functions of older adults with dementia?

Gabriel Joseph Quijano, Dominican University of California


With the world’s population aging and growing, a projected exponential growth of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the improvement of treatment and assistance programs has turned into such a committed area of research in public health. Nursing home residents diagnosed with AD and dementia experience multiple feelings of agitation and unrest due to their condition. There is a decrease in quality of life and also patient distress between themselves and their caregiver due to this matter. But music therapy has been found effective in the treatment of these patients to be sufficient and successful. This observational study design will explore the changes in mood and behaviors in residents with AD through the use of performing live music. This will bring qualitative analysis in mood and behavior change among those with AD, and give insight on the effects of music to the human mind. This study’s participants were the residents of the memory care unit at AlmaVia San Rafael. Live video recording will be conducted to analyze and identify specific gestures such as foot tapping, smiles, swaying movement of the body, clapping of the hands, sung lyrics, sounds and reactions. This experiment highlighted how music is strongly associated with a person’s experience and identity, the sights and sounds positively changed their mood at the end of each session.