Everyone enjoys listening to music, and the way that it can relax or energise you, but now studies are showing that it has more power than we could have imagined. Some studies looked at the effect of singing on the brain of dementia sufferers, others look at how a personalised playlist filled with music from the patients past, can activate parts of the brain. A groundbreaking study by The University of Utah showed that music could be an effective way to communicate with Alzheimer’s patients. It documented how familiar music could get the attention of patients and even facilitate motivation to do a certain task. This makes music a tool with which to manage any emotional distress that an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient may be going through. When we listen to a song that we really engage with, our brain has a response called an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response known as ASMR. This is a tingling sensation in the brain that has been described as a natural buzz. It is why people can feel uplifted or moved after listening to a particular song. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease carried out a study of ASMR, and found that it could not only catalogue responses to music, but it could also be used to manage negative emotional responses such as anger or fear in patients with Alzheimer’s. One of the academics involved in the study, Jeff Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in Radiology at the University of Utah Health stated that diagnoses of the disease were exceeding the ability of services equipped to manage them. Music, while not being a cure for the disease, could be utilised to manage some of the worst symptoms and reduce the cost of resources, in addition to vastly improving the quality of life of the patient.
Music Therapy as a Therapeutic Tool
Charities like Music and Memory train people to deliver music therapy training to workers in care home settings, or in long term geriatric wards. Government bodies are now taking seriously claims that music therapy can be used to help people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. Many nursing homes are thinking outside of the box as they look to for time and resource management options for their patients and music memory is becoming more common across the UK and abroad.
Streamlined Recruitment for Care Sector
Supply and demand is a common factor within the care sector, as an ageing population and lack of skilled care staff leads to care homes unable to adequately look after their patients or take on any new ones. Hiring and retaining staff takes up a lot of time and manpower, just setting up interviews and checking references, which can take away from essential work in the care sector. Novacare has developed specialist cloud based recruitment software to take the hassle out of hiring skilled staff for the care sector. It can automate time consuming tasks, while leaving an audit trail, and records for HR, leaving more room for the vital job of caring for people.