Music unlocks our memories and supports dementia care, says home visits optician


MUSIC can play a vital role in unlocking our memories, and in supporting those living with dementia.

That’s the message from experts at Specsavers Home Visits, who regularly visit people living with dementia, following research they have conducted exploring the power of music.

Dawn Roberts, clinical director for Specsavers Home Visits, says: ‘Many of the people we meet on a day-to-day basis are living with dementia, and research shows that music can be incredibly powerful in helping them to unlock their memories.

‘We all know that hearing a particular song can take us back to happy or more challenging times in an instant, but for people living with dementia, music is often used as a form of therapy which can improve how they think, feel, how they see the world, their mood and the way they act. I have often sung to patients with dementia when I’ve tested their eyes and they’ve really responded to it.’

Ms Roberts continued; ‘Outside of work, I visit a lady in a care home once a week, and all she wants me to do is sing to her. Most of what she wants me to sing is in another language which neither of us speak, so I had to learn the words, but she loves it, so it’s definitely been worthwhile. Music is incredibly powerful, and can really bring people together.’

Research from Specsavers shows that 77% of people in London say that as they grow older they treasure happy memories more, with 59% saying that sounds of the natural world trigger happy memories.

52% of people in London say that their favourite song can take them back to key moments in their lives, whilst 41% also say, they believe music is one of the most powerful ways to evoke emotion.

Music is now widely used in dementia care, providing a powerful way to help those living with the condition connect with others according to the charity Dementia UK.
It can improve concentration, cognition, memory, speech and non-verbal communication skills, all of which can be impaired by dementia.
Research has shown that music can also help reduce blood pressure and heart rate, relieve muscle tension and help with pain management.
Specsavers’ home visiting opticians carry out comprehensive free eye tests in the home for people who qualify for an NHS-funded eye test and are unable to leave their home unaccompanied due to a physical or mental illness or disability.

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