Singing Away the Dementia Blues

Singing Away the Dementia Blues

            We love to sing at Sensations Memory Care Residence. Music is a great connector among people. So many of our residents here are talented and unashamed to belt out a few notes or hum a little ditty. During activity time, we love to have music going. That’s music all day long! I’ve noticed little things while we have music playing. The louder the music, the more awake our residents are and ready to participate! I see more smiles on faces when there’s songs they recognize. Altogether, everyone seems more relaxed and content.

            When we pass out the music folders for Music Magic, where we do formal sing-alongs (as opposed to the random line sung here and there), some of our loved ones will start singing the songs in them before we even open the folders! “Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here” is one of those and “Holy, Holy, Holy” as well. They love listening to those throwbacks.

Then there are other times where we use music to comfort residents. We have some residents who have some repetitive behaviors. Repetitive behavior is a common occurrence among people who have dementia. There are many possible reasons for a person’s repetitiveness – insecurity, anxiety, lack of reassurance, confusion , and so many more – all of which can cause frustration for the caregiver and person with dementia. Practice patience with people who are repeating themselves. They might not realize they’re repeating themselves and might have an unseen, unmet need. Sometimes, they might just need comforting.

While we were waiting for dinner one day and one of our residents started their repetitive behavior. Our staff understand that it’s just something that occurs, but some of our other residents were starting to get annoyed and were asking the resident to stop. Our Activity lady for that day intercepted the situation very well. She calmly approached the resident, held their hand, and started singing “You Are My Sunshine.” The resident started singing along with her and put the repetitive behavior on hold. Even after Activities went to tend to what they needed to, the resident kept us all entertained by continuing “You Are My Sunshine.” It’s amazing how a little bit of comfort and attention can change how someone is feeling and put their mind at ease.

Sensations prides itself on being a safe facility that specializes in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Each of Sensations’ design elements ensures safety and security for our residents. If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia and are looking for information, please feel free to call us at (517) 543-8101 or stop in and see our beautiful facility. Our office hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.