The Healing Power Of Music
Transforming Lives During Alzheimer’s Awareness Week
It’s World Alzheimer’s Day and we are joining the conversation sharing stories of resilience, connection, and wellbeing.
Stories of people like Jean, an older lady living with vascular dementia, who found solace in the soothing power of music.
The Impact of Music: Transforming Care Environments
Jean's Story: A Remarkable Encounter with Music
Jean’s story is a testament to the incredible impact that music can have on individuals living with dementia. She would often call out in distress, searching for a connection with her loved ones. However, her story took a heartwarming turn when Mary (our Associate Musician) sat down beside her and offered the gift of music-making.
As Mary played, Jean’s cries of distress gradually softened. The calling out became less agitated, and moments of serenity emerged. What made this experience truly remarkable was the power of a shared voice. When Jean cried out, “God help me!” Mary transitioned the piece into the soothing melody of “Amazing Grace.” As Mary played, Jean began to join in. Singing the last line with clarity, bringing a smile to her face.
Mary played other hymns which provided a welcome distraction as the nurses administered Jean’s medication. A close friend of Jean’s visited, and joined in as they all sang “Amazing Grace” together. Jean mouthed the words along with them, relishing the moment of connection and joy.
The story of Jean is just one example of the profound impact of music on individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. As caregivers and healthcare professionals have observed, music can bring remarkable changes to care environments.
Music offers the space for connection, it can create a communication without words, reaching neural pathways that fire subconsciously and can ignite memories once forgot.
Take Me As You Find Me: A Song by OPUS Music
In our quest to raise awareness on World Alzheimer’s Day, we wanted to share our song “Take Me As You Find Me.” You can listen to it here. This song portrays the experiences and emotions of the response to our practice within dementia care. It reminds us of the importance of empathy and understanding.
OPUS Music's Commitment to Dementia Care
In addition to our musical contributions in health and care settings, here at OPUS Music we are making a meaningful impact in the community. Thanks to Arts Council Funding, we are running a series of workshops in Bolsover for families living with dementia. Our new team of community musicians are bringing music to families and facilitating music-making sessions that support their health and wellbeing. This initiative exemplifies the positive change that can be achieved through the healing power of music.
As we commemorate World Alzheimer’s Day, let us be inspired by stories like Jean’s, where the simple act of sharing music can bring comfort, connection, and joy to those living with dementia. Music is a powerful tool for transforming care environments and enhancing the quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s. Join us as we continue to explore the healing power of music and work towards a more inclusive and compassionate world for all those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.
For more information on Alzheimer’s and the broader initiatives to support individuals with dementia, you can refer to the following resources: