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Although scientists are still searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, there has been tangible progress in reversing early cognitive decline that can lead to dementia. An important aspect of this progress is recent research on the benefits of meditation and music therapy. The findings are good news for all older adults who might be concerned about faltering memory and the risk of continuing cognitive decline.
According to a recent article in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, meditation and listening to music have shown significant promise in improving cognitive function and memory in adults with “subjective cognitive decline.” Experts in memory care define subjective cognitive decline (SCD) as a preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease or unhealthy brain aging.
Says Crystal Yost, PCHA, PCH, Administrator at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr located in Bryn Mawr, PA, “The latest research detailing the positive effects of music and meditation on cognitive decline is welcome news for older adults and those who love them. Now there are effective means for seniors with unhealthy brain aging to improve their cognitive function through music and meditation, while also reducing their risk of dementia.
“At Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr, we’ve long believed in the value of engagement therapies and social interaction activities to stimulate loved ones with dementia, strengthen their cognitive function and connect them with the world around them. Here, our memory care residents enjoy listening to favorite music, art and drawing activities, visits with friendly pets and reminiscing over old photo albums and family movies.”
Led by Dr. Kim Innes, associate professor of epidemiology at West Virginia University, researchers conducted a study to directly assess the effects of listening to music and “Kirtan Kriya” meditation on the cognitive abilities of people with subjective cognitive decline.
For the study, sixty older adults with subjective cognitive decline participated in a randomized, clinical trial. During the trial, each participant was randomly assigned to a program of either Kirtan Kriya meditation or listening to music and asked to practice 12 minutes a day for 12 weeks.
After the 12-week trial period, both the meditation group and the music listening group showed statistically significant improvements in their cognitive function. However, the group practicing Kirtan Kriya meditation showed the greatest improvements in memory, cognitive function and other quality of life measures.
According to the article, “Alzheimer's disease: Music, meditation may improve early cognitive decline,” meditation and listening to music can improve several important quality of life measures.
For example, practicing 12 minutes of Kirtan Kriya meditation a day is reported to help a person to:
· Think more clearly
· Improve memory retrieval
· Enhance sleep quality, reduce stress
· Improve both short- and long-term psychological health
· Sharpen attention, concentration, and focus
Listening to music, especially classical music, may:
· Relieve stress
· Reduce anxiety and lessen agitation in people with Alzheimer's disease
· Boost mood
· Stimulate positive interactions
· Facilitate cognitive function
· Help coordinate motor movements
Crystal adds, “This groundbreaking research on the value of meditation and music in reversing early cognitive decline is vital information for all older adults. We encourage you to take this information to heart and begin to incorporate these practices into your normal daily routine.
“Your brain will thank you and so will the people who love and care about you!”
We encourage you to contact us with any questions you have about our exceptional, person-centered dementia care community or to schedule a tour. Also, we invite you to read our timely blog articles on current caregiver and dementia care topics posted on our website.
If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.
Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level ofindependence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comfort of home. Our memory care community touches hearts and changes lives.
Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family.
If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.
If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again.
For more information, please call Crystal Yost, PCHA, PCH, Administrator at 484.386.6323 or contact us online.
Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician