Music: Treatment for Dementia (video)

There have been people living with advanced dementia in every nursing home I’ve been in.  They sit silently in chairs and recliners, lining the hallways or packed into the day room, where the TV creates the illusion of a pastime.  This residents often seem unreachable, locked in their own private worlds, not responding to questions or efforts to involve them in activities. What if we could bring them alive again through music?  In this video, Oliver Sacks, MD, provides commentary as music transforms a man with dementia.  The clip is part of the documentary, Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory.

4 thoughts on “Music: Treatment for Dementia (video)”

  1. Dr. El,

    I recommend people interested in this subject to read “Musicophilia” by Oliver Sacks. I feel it is a must read for all staff members involved in recreational activities in a nursing home.

    • Suggestion Saturday, during my training with the Alzheimer’s Association, I remember watching a video of a woman with advanced dementia singing along with someone playing the piano. The lyrics she was singing were not even words, but she was happy and energetic. It saddened me to think of my grandmother, so quiet and withdrawn from dementia in her later years, and how things could have been for her if we’ve known better. Now that we know better, let’s spread the word!


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