Expert Insights

Latest news stories and opinions about the Dental, GP and Care Industries. For your ease of use, we have established categories under which you can source the relevant articles and news items.

16th July 2021

Music and Dementia

“Where words fail, music speaks” (Hans Christian Andersen)

 Music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function (Mannes, 2011). There is clear potential in the power of music to change the brain and affect the way it works.

Despite a wealth of empirical evidence to show that music can increase the quality of life for people with dementia, it is a powerful tool in dementia care that remains underutilised in many care settings.

Elton John once said “Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” In dementia, the opposite is true.  Where people can no longer access their own life history due to memory loss, music can “bring them back into themselves, into their own personhood and memories” (Oliver Sacks, 2011).

The late Aretha Franklin understood its power; “Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It's transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It's uplifting, it's encouraging, it's strengthening.”

Research (Powel, 2016; Carpente & Aigen, 2018) shows that listening to music results in:

  • Positive changes in mood and emotional states
  • Improved memory recall
  • A sense of control over life and increased confidence
  • Effective, non-pharmacological management of pain and discomfort
  • Opportunities to interact socially with others
  • Stimulation that promotes physical movement and interest (even when other approaches are ineffective)

This is compelling evidence: music can relieve physical pain, encourage movement, enhance decision-making skills, improve well-being and provide a way to experience joy and connection with others.

There is no good reason not to include use of music within the activity care plan of every service user living with dementia.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Join over 130,000 users already using the QCS Management System!
Start Free Trial Buy Now
Back to Top

Register here for your FREE TRIAL

  • Try our unique Management System, or any of our individual packs
  • PLUS! Gain FREE trial access to our Mock Inspection Toolkit
  • Over 2,300+ pages of easy to use guidance and 300+ policies & procedures

Simply fill out the form below and get full access for 24 hours to a QCS Management System of your choice.