Music and Dementia


Music can profoundly benefit a person who is living with dementia. Music can bring comfort and calm to people who are feeling unsettled. The part of our brains that remembers music is the hippocampus which typically is one of the areas that remains strong when dementia advances. Music is also related to our emotions which also helps connect people to their memories.

It is important to note that not everyone reacts the same way to music, and it is helpful to play your loved one's favorite songs. If their favorite music is unknown, a good place to start is to find music that was popular when they were in their youth.

The benefits of playing a person's favorite music, opens a new window are:

  • Positive changes in moods and emotional states
  • A sense of control over life
  • Memory recall
  • Non-pharmacological management of pain and discomfort
  • Stimulation that promotes interest even when other approaches are ineffective
  • Promotes rhythmic, continuous movement and vocal fluency
  • Opportunities to interact socially with others

The library makes it easy to connect your loved one with the music they love!

Looking for more resources? Visit the Older Adults & Care Partner Resources page or schedule an appointment with an Older Adult Services Librarian.