Music and the Mind: The Benefits of Music in the Care Home

RecThis March we launched the social media campaign Minutes for Mental Health in order to engage care homes and spread awareness about residents’ mental health. Each week we posted an activity for the care homes to participate in and our theme for the final week is music.

Music can be enjoyed in a range of forms, by a range of people. Whether a person listens or actively participates in its creation through singing and playing different instruments. It is inclusive and has a number of advantages that are good for both social and psychological well-being.


Increased sense of self-worth and community
Accessible for a variety of people
Good for both physical and mental health


Research has shown that music can have a profound impact on individuals with advanced stages of dementia. This is due to it being able to reach a larger area of the brain, allowing them to experience emotions and memories which may not be accessed as easily through spoken word. Furthermore, participating in group music sessions can also foster a sense of community and enhance self-esteem, and may even encourage physical activity through rhythmic movement.

Even patients who are deaf can benefit! The brain compensates for its inability to hear music by strengthening the other senses. Many prefer to sense music through vibrations; you can help patients achieve this by simply turning up the volume, placing the patient close to the speaker, or, if you have access to them, giving them over-ear headphones.

One of the best parts about incorporating music into care is it does not require loads of planning and even the care workers can benefit. It can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and still offer the same benefits listed above in whatever chosen form, here are some ideas listed below of how you can incorporate music into the care home:

  • Playing Instruments
  • Turning on the radio
  • Live Music
  • Sing-along groups

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