Music and Memories


'Tis the season to sing and listen to Christmas carols and other holiday music. This is especially true for those who suffer from memory loss, according to the Mayo Clinic News Network. 

A recent study on brain health and Alzheimers Disease has shown that the locations in the brain where musical memories are stored is relatively undamaged by the disease, compared to other parts of the brain. 

What this means for Alzheimers patients and their loves ones is that music can provide a unique source of pleasant memories and positive experiences for everyone concerned. 

Certainly singing and listening to Christmas carols is a current opportunity for relaxation and family togetherness. Why not take those positive experiences and create a new regular habit of music appreciation into the whole New Year? Ask your loved one about their favorite songs, and sing along with them. Look for daily opportunities to enjoy music. Perhaps a simple grace before meals can be sung, or a favorite hymn or lullaby before bedtime can bring a more restful sleep. Add a few dance steps, clapping or swaying to the beat. Music can be a powerful mood altering experience. For  best results, try to remove competing background noises such as the television or radio. 

When memory loss has affected a loved one, musical memory can provide a source of comfort, and even create new and pleasant memories to treasure in the days ahead. 

--Andrea Winchester