Aspen Senior Day Center – Music Positively Affects Seniors Dealing with Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, when used appropriately, music can:

  • Alter mood
  • Manage self-induced agitation
  • Stimulate positive interactions
  • Encourage cognitive function
  • Coordinate motor movements

Playing a client’s favorite music can aid in recall of personal memories, feelings, and emotions they experienced at different times throughout their life. However, it’s helpful to note that each person’s experience, preference, history, and level of engagement will vary.  

Binders full of senior's favorite songs.
Seniors can follow along to their favorite songs.

Knowing a client’s background information can benefit each person differently.  For example, if Earl used to play the trumpet and enjoy jazz, playing a familiar Louis Armstrong song could greatly benefit Earl’s mood and interaction level.  

“…music affects so many parts of the brain, it touches areas that may not be damaged by the disease and brings those pathways to the forefront. The result is the astounding “awakening” that often occurs.”

-Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Director of Geriatrics at the University of CA, Irvine School of Medicine

Robyn leads a fun and interactive sing-along.

“Music is one of our favorite parts of the day.  Our sing-alongs, name that tune, and musical instruments all bring joy as our seniors sing familiar songs such as “Shine on Harvest Moon”, “Toot Toot Tootsie”, and ‘Me and My Gal,” says Julie Smith, Activities Director at Aspen Senior Day Center. “These familiar songs often have a calming effect which can lessen their anxiety or agitated behavior.”  Julie had a gentleman tell her the reason he liked singing so much was that it makes him feel “almost normal” again.  

Larry and Stephan serenade the crowd!
Larry and Stephan serenade the crowd!



Words often are slow to come in conversations, but as the seniors tap their feet or clap their hands the words often seem to come easily and this gives them great satisfaction.




In another favorite Aspen Senior Day Center activity, Becky guides seniors through active movements to help improve their brain power, movement, coordination, flexibility, and reaction time. Becky leads our seniors through Senior Sit’n’Dance every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 3:30 to 4:00 PM. Everyone enjoys it and almost every senior participates. 

 “Seniors love to sit and dance in a chair to music they love and remember!” -Becky

“We see music positively impact our seniors every day,” says Gary Staples, Administrator at Aspen Senior Day Center. “It uplifts and improves their quality of life and brings back good memories and feelings of love and inclusion.”  


At Aspen Senior Day Center in Provo, we provide adult day care services (fun activities and personal care) for seniors with all types of dementia.

Aspen Senior Care provides in-home care for seniors with all types of health challenges, including all forms of dementia. Visit or call our office at 801-224-5910 for more information.

Contact Karen Rodgers, Family Caregiver Coach, for a free assessment to help you navigate the challenges of caregiving. You can reach her at 801-224-5910.

Music Positively Affects Seniors Dealing with Dementia