PRESERVING INDEPENDENCE IN THE CASE OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: MUSIC
There is no reason at all why a person with dementia can't enjoy music.
Sitting and listening passively will give pleasure to many, as will taking a
more active role, such as joining in by humming or singing. More
importantly, those who have learnt to play a musical instrument in earlier
life may retain this skill, at a simple level, much further into the course
of the disease than one would expect. This can give great pleasure and a
sense of achievement, not only to them, but also to those looking after
For listening to music, it is probably better to rely on cassette recorders than record players as the former are easier to switch on and off. There is also little danger of damaging a cassette. If the music would disturb others, it is worth trying a personal cassette player with a pair of headphones, of the sort now widely used.
Even if a musical person loses the skill to play an instrument, but retains some musical abilities, it may be possible to substitute simple home-made instruments such as drums made from cans or rattles created by filling tins or jars with beans.