Music is be a powerful tool for people with dementia.
People with dementia have difficulty recalling events from their short term memory. However, they are able to quite easily recall memories from their long term memory, such as their childhood, teenage years and early 20’s. The music they were listening to at these times is also well embedded in their long term memory. The tricky bit is that they have trouble telling you what their favourite music is.
STEP 1: Find out the years between their birth and up until say, they were 20 years old. for eg. 1920 (date of birth) and 1940 (the year they turned 20 years old).
STEP 2:: Find out what country they were born and where they were during their first 20 years of their live.
STEP 3: What music would they have heard during that time?
STEP 4: Seek out that music, and play it to them and watch for a response such as tapping a foot/hand, singing, talking about that song. If no response, then they may not know it.
TIP: My CD “Among My Souvenirs” has 51 well known songs, professionally recorded for maximum effect for people with dementia. Each song is in a set pitch, rhythm and musically arranged so that people at any stage of dementia can listen and sing along to them. Check it out under “Resources” on this website.