Music Therapy Success

There are five primary behavioral responses that music therapy can offer relief from in Alzheimer's and Dementia patients and one important non-pharmacological strategy that may reduce the need of treatment medication. Those targeted responses include Social, Emotional, Cognitive, Behavioral, Physical symptoms and reducing the need for anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medicines used in helping treat the just mentioned symptoms. The app is designed to be able to include two songs/memories for each targeted symptom/response allowing caregivers to intervene with music for a variety of patient situations. Not everyone has the same pleasant memories, so you can remove any of our default memories replacing it with a new memory. Some may have had a horrible childhood and so users can change the default memory "What was your favorite childhood song?" with a new memory "What was your favorite Polka or Waltz?" Likewise, not all patients need relief from each behavior symptom, so caregivers can customize music memories to the needs and desired responses of their patients.

There are three ways that caregivers finds a song that can jar a pleasant memory and can offer a positive therapeutic effect on a patient:

  1. Directly asking patients of a favorite song tied to a memory for a specific reaction or treatment of a symptom;
  2. Asking family and friends about positive memories and favorite songs and then playing them to patients to see there responses to the selections. It's just as important to identify memories or songs which might generate negative memories and positive ones and plenty of listening and observations of responses must be conducted ;
  3. Choosing songs based on patient background/interests by a skilled Music Therapist and then observing and classifying their reactions to the songs.

Each personalized music strategy must reflect the patients history, preferences and ability to engage with a certain type of musical experience. Certain music genera, even individual songs can spark a different set of emotions and reactions from patient to patient. These factors make it extremely challenging to conduct randomized trails where one song or play list has a fits all with the same meaning from patient to patient. That said, it can take extensive listening and observations to implement a Music Therapy program that's beneficial to the patient.

The rewards of reestablishing an emotional closeness over meaningful interactions that may have been loss can appreciably enhance the quality of life for patient and their families. Successful therapy may only include facial expressions, attempting to speak, tapping fingers and feet, but can be as wonderful as a patient remembering the names of the loved ones that are visiting, reminiscing of fond memories and even talking to them again. Now that we realize the therapeutic benefits and the reasons for caregivers to use Music Therapy let's explore the basics of the app.