The Power of Music for Dementia Clients

Music has the capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity… despite dementia. Musical appreciation is one of the last abilities to fade for dementia patients, and music consistently sparks enjoyment, engagement and emotional comfort for most dementia clients.

Research supports that people with dementia have real and significant responses to music, most commonly elevating their sense of self and connection to others. In the documentary Alive Inside, the effects of music on people living with Alzheimer’s is thoroughly explored and explained. The phenomenon is attributed to music acting as a “backdoor to memory” and viewers of the documentary are instructed in the ways to access this portal and utilize best practices for enjoying music with elders. Below is a clip from this documentary.

The full documentary is just over an hour in length and available in DVD and Live Stream Rental from To listen to an interview of the film’s production team, including Oliver Sacks, a professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine in New York click HERE  To view the trailer of the documentary and learn more about the project visit the website

At OPICA we use Music Therapy as part of our broad range of cognitive stimulation programs for adults challenged by memory loss. Click HERE to learn more about our programs and services.


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