Singing is a natural and enjoyable part of life, whether or not you can carry a tune. We do it while doing dreadful chores, we do it while we drive, and we sometimes do it even without ourselves knowing.
Those who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease would know that listening to music is helpful for people with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. It is, however, a lesser-known fact that singing may be beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of singing for those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Singing Helps to Engage the Brain
When we listen to music, the right side of our brain is engaged. If you add singing to the equation, however, the left side of the brain will also be used. In other words, listening to music and singing along engages the entire brain.
For those with Alzheimer’s, then, participating in sing-along sessions helps to engage both sides of their brain – all while they enjoy the moment!
Singing Helps those with Alzheimer’s Reconnect with Others
Think about the last time a song made you happy or sad. Music has the ability to evoke strong emotions that may otherwise have been forgotten or neglected. Singing along can help your loved ones with Alzheimer’s share joyful times with their loved ones or evoke memories and emotions from the past.
Singing Improves Memory
Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia are more likely to remember lyrics than other words.
Our brains have a remarkable ability to remember music, even when we are not aware of it. The brain appears to work together to form and retrieve long-term memories for music, particularly when the music contains lyrics. This network seems to remain intact, especially when the music is enjoyed regularly.
Singing Helps to Develop a Sense of Belonging
By bringing together like-minded individuals, singing in a group helps lessen loneliness. Participation is increased and engagement for individuals who are more withdrawn is improved by group singing. Even people who have significant cognitive impairment will alter their body language and seem more alert during a sing-along.
Singing as a Means to Manage Stress and Mood
In the same way that a fast song can get you all pumped up and happy, a slower song can help sooth you and calm you down. Song and music have the ability to lift a person’s spirits to make them feel less agitated or stressed because listening to music or singing along triggers the release of Melatonin, Serotonin, and Prolactin. These chemicals are also known as happy chemicals from the brain that help to regulate mood and negative emotions.
Therefore, the next time you feel that your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is agitated or stressed up, consider playing a slow and soothing song to calm their nerves.
Singing is Great Exercise
Singing is a great aerobic workout for the lungs, abdominal muscles, and blood circulation. The oxygenation of the blood is also increased by singing, which also enhances general attentiveness and overall health for your loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease.