According to the most recent statistics, there are over 5 million people in the United States who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. While this is a somewhat scary statistic, it can be helpful to know more about the disease and how certain types of alternative treatments, such as music and dancing, can help.
What Is Alzheimer's Disease?
Considered a progressive disorder of the brain, Alzheimer's not only destroys the memory, but it can also greatly hinder thinking skills to the point that those diagnosed with the disease are unable to remember their loved ones and carry out simple tasks. The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who is credited for having made the first diagnosis of this disease, which was back in 1906.
What Are the Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease
For those who get diagnosed with Alzheimer's, symptoms usually begin in their mid-60s. However, for those who have an early onset of the disease, symptoms can show up as early as their 30s. Some of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer's include:
- Memory loss that is significant enough to affect daily life
- Solving problems becomes more difficult than it used to be
- Completing tasks at home or at work become increasingly difficult
- Getting confused about time and place
Many people with Alzheimer's also tend to misplace their things and can't retrace their steps in order to find it. When this happens, they might accuse people of stealing from them.
How Can Music and Dance Help With Alzheimer's Disease?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer's. Many people who have it must have specialized Alzheimer's care or be placed in a type of facility that offers memory care. Treatment options usually involve medications that can help with memory and help them cope with changes in behavior.
Another type of alternative treatment that has proven to be effective is listening to music and dancing. Some nursing homes incorporate both of these types of arts into their Alzheimer's care regimen.
Certain studies show that after Alzheimer's patients listen to music, it helps to reduce their agitation and aggressiveness. Dancing helps as well by increasing their vitality and giving Alzheimer's patients more opportunities to socialize with others. Dancing is a fun way to move around and doing so can help to increase circulation, which in turn can help improve brain function. Another benefit that listening to music and dancing provides for Alzheimer's patients is that it helps them relax, which is essential for coping with the disease.