The Benefits of Music Therapy in Dementia Care


For seniors living with progressive brain disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, music therapy can prove to be a wonderful cognitive intervention. At Syncare Memory Suites, a specialized private memory care home in Minnesota, we incorporate a variety of proven therapies into the daily lives of our residents. Music is one of them. It’s been proven to boost brain activity in several ways, and it’s an excellent way to improve quality of life.

What is Music Therapy?

This evidence-based therapy falls into the same category as physical and occupational therapy, as well as speech-language pathology. Music is used as a therapeutic tool to address a variety of patient needs, including physical, social, psychological, emotional, behavioral, and even spiritual. For people living with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s in particular, music has been shown to activate different parts of the brain.

According to a study shared by, musical aptitude and appreciation are among the last remaining abilities of those living with Alzheimer’s. That’s why music can function as a tool for reaching beyond the disease to the person. Here are three benefits of music therapy for dementia care.

An Emotional Connection

Even people living with the most advanced instances of Alzheimer’s can demonstrate emotion with music. Music is an emotional experience that often triggers memories. By pairing music with day-to-day activities, residents can settle into a familiar rhythm that can help them maintain cognitive ability.

Enhanced Engagement

Listening to music and singing along both spark activity in various parts of the brain. It’s a stimulating experience that’s equally enjoyable, which makes it ideal for exercising the mind. As a shared activity, music can also promote emotional and even physical closeness.

Emotional Management

Music therapy has been shown to help manage stress-induced agitation and mood. Listening or singing along to music don’t require strenuous mental effort — it’s effortless, engaging, and stimulating, which is what makes it so appropriate for those with progressive brain disorders.

Learn More

For more information on the music therapy offered here at Syncare, or details about our specialized approach to care, contact us today. We’re understand the gravity of choosing a home for your loved one, and we’re here to help.

10 Questions to Ask When You Consider Memory Care Communities


When a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, families are often faced with difficult decisions. One of the biggest decisions is often related to a timeline – when will we know it’s time for a memory care community? The important question to answer is how much assistance your loved one really needs, and whether that can be realistically provided at home. If it’s clear that a memory care community is the best option, the next question looms – how do you find the right home? Syncare Memory Suites understands how daunting this task is, and we’re sharing 10 questions you should ask when you consider memory care communities.

Start Here

Before you begin touring homes, take time to truly assess your loved one. Considering his or her needs, abilities, and preferences will help you narrow down your search. Your assessment should include:

  • Mobility – Can your loved one walk without assistance, or is a wheelchair, walker, or hands-on assistance necessary?
  • Ability – Is your loved one independently functioning? How much assistance is needed for daily living practices such as eating, grooming, bathing, and using the bathroom?
  • Cognition – Does your loved one display unsafe or negative symptoms of dementia, like aggression, inappropriate sexual behavior, wandering, hallucinations, or sundowning?
  • Medications – Does your loved one have chronic illnesses or ongoing medical treatments that must be managed?

Narrowing the Search

If you’re fortunate to have a number of memory care communities to consider, keep in mind that location should be key to your final decision. It’s not just a logistical consideration, although staying close does make the physical move easier. Proximity to your loved one ensures he or she will be more regularly exposed to familiar faces. Even as memories fade, staying close and involved with your loved one in the memory home community makes a big difference.

Your answers to the questions posed above will help you make a decision about an appropriate level of care, living arrangements, and type of community. Once you’ve created a short list of three to five options, it’s time to schedule tours. Of course, more questions may arise as you visit, and your personal circumstances will dictate the information you need. 

Use these 10 questions as a starting point, and do your best to take note of the replies so that you can fairly compare communities.

  1. How is the admission process determined?
  2. Does the community offer any kind of assessment?
  3. What kinds of therapies are offered?
  4. What kinds of care services are not included?
  5. Explain the communication process. How are families updated on a resident’s care?
  6. What are the home’s policies regarding medical emergencies?
  7. Is there any kind of discharge policy?
  8. How are fees structured?
  9. How would you describe living and dining arrangements?
  10. How are transition stages managed?

As you visit, pay attention to the residents, the staff, and the community. Ideally, you’ll see staff interacting with residents respectfully and with patience and care. Do residents appear engaged and accommodated? Are they able to move about the community, in and out of outdoor spaces in a way that is safely monitored? Does the home appear well maintained and easy to navigate? Are there any unpleasant odors or noises? What’s your gut feeling? Consider the home’s personal care philosophy – do you see evidence that it rings true?

The Takeaway

Finding the right memory care community for your loved one isn’t easy, and it’s normal to have many questions. At Syncare Memory Suites in Minnesota, we understand the task you must face, and we’re here to help. If you have questions about specialized memory care home like ours, or about memory care communities in general, contact us today.