How can a musical instrument or singing help my elderly parents with their memory?

Music is something that can be engrained in our memory, has a song ever been stuck in your head and you can’t get it out?

Some memories in our life are linked to music, for example, your elderly parents may have had a favourite song to dance to in their younger days. You'd be surprised how well they would be able to remember that now!


Research has found that playing an instrument or joining a choir is linked to better memory and thinking skills especially in older ages.

Not only does learning how to play an instrument or joining a choir provide you with serotonin, but it also helps with social interaction and learning new things, which is always stimulating for the brain.

The scientists investigated their brain health, including mental processes that help in planning, focusing, remembering, and juggling tasks – known as executive function – and found those who played an instrument scored more highly

Dementia and Music

Musical group activities is something that could help as your getting older to reduce Dementia. Being in a musical setting wil promote brain health and help with resilience.

“There is considerable evidence for the benefit of music group activities for individuals with dementia, and this approach could be extended as part of a healthy ageing package for older adults to enable them to proactively reduce their risk and to promote brain health.”

The deputy of Dementia UK, Caroline Scates,  recently mentioned that music can be a form of communication of people living wth dementia, they may have a connection with a certain song and may stimulate the brain whilst listening, playing or singing to it.

She states “If you know someone living with dementia who enjoys or has enjoyed singing or playing an instrument, it can be beneficial to keep these instruments or sheet music to hand for them to play or read.”

The benefits of music for elderly adults’ memory

For families and carers, music can foster togetherness and create shared positive experiences. Additionally, it can open avenues of communication and interaction that may otherwise be unavailable.

  • Give seniors a cognitive boost
  • Music brings their matured brains back to the passions of their youth.
  • Allows them to be reminded they’ve lived a fulfilling life
  • Brings them into a community of people, improving their social life
  • Exercises their brain, keeps them stimulated

People tend to say music brings back memories and this is true. Music takes you back to a time that you were happy, sad, confused and you can link it to a certain part of your life, which is very beneficial for those who struggle with memory loss or those who have age-related cognitive decline. So, if your parent is struggling with their memory, remind them with their favourite song, you might be surprised how well they remember it!

How can we help?

If your elderly parents are struggling with memory loss or suffering with dementia, we are here for you.

Click here to visit our page on Dementia Care.

How to find the right care for you or your relative

1. Find your local office

Bluebird Care delivers care from locally based offices, find yours to start your care journey today.

2. Get in touch with us

Fill in our call back form or give us a call to find out how we can help you.

3. Assessment

We’ll come out to you to find out what you or your loved one needs to help stay independent at home.

4. Care team chosen & care starts

You'll be cared for by our specially trained team to support you to remain at home for as long as possible.

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