Music Therapy in Dementia Care

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Music therapy in care for dementia

Dementia is an extremely common disease among the elderly, with 4 million Americans currently suffering from the Alzheimer’s type alone. Figures show that 3% of people between the ages of 65-74 suffer from the disease, rapidly increasing to 19% for the 75-84 age bracket, and as high as 47% for the over 85s. Therefore, it is easy to see why Dementia is such a large part of many people’s lives, whether they are suffering from the condition themselves, or have an elderly relative who requires full time care just to undertake simple day to day tasks. The disease can be extremely traumatic for the patient and their families, as the person, who may have been extremely lively and bright throughout their
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The main cause for this was probably a 1991 senate hearing in the US, called the Special Committee on Ageing, United Stated Senate 1991.This looked deep into the problems faced by the elderly residents of the country, and analysed which service areas needed increased funding, including new ideas that were never funded before. One of these was music therapy, where annual funding was given to finance research and projects in music therapy with elderly people. In the period from 1991 to 1994, interest in the field was at an all-time high, where many documents were written about the treatment by both healthcare and music professionals.
Music therapy comes in all sorts of different shapes and forms, with the therapist choosing which process should be used with the patient in order to maximise the session’s potential. These can range from the patient playing a previously learned piece on an instrument (if they already have a musical background), to
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