This guest post was contributed by Dr Alan J. Gow, Associate Professor in Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University.
As we age, some of us will experience changes in our thinking skills. People often think of these changes in terms of decline, maybe noticing their memory getting a bit poorer or not being able to solve problems as quickly as when they were younger. While some people do experience these changes, others do not. In fact, some people retain their thinking skills well.
Researchers are therefore trying to better understand how our thinking skills change (or stay stable) as we age. In exploring the variation that exists from person to person, a really important question then arises: What factors affect the changes we might experience? Continue reading
Posted in Health, Health and Wellbeing, Research
Tagged Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, brain ageing, Brain ageing Age UK, Dr Alan J. Gow Heriot-Watt University, For Later Life Conference 2017, healthy ageing, older people, What Keeps You Sharp?
Our first blog of the week looks at how music can be used as a way to help care for and support people living with dementia. It was contributed by Doctor Victoria Williamson, Director of Music and Wellbeing, at the University of Sheffield.
Music is powerful, multi-functional, ageless and universal: one of the greatest human inventions.
You will, no doubt, know music that instantly transports you back in time to a treasured memory. Lyrics pop automatically to your mind. You remember music from decades ago but struggle with the names of people you met just days before.
Psychological studies support these anecdotal accounts of the power of music in long-term memory. Individuals who face extreme challenges to their memory, such as amnesia or dementia, rarely lose these musical connections.
I run the ‘Music and Wellbeing’ research unit at the University of Sheffield and for the last year my team has been looking at the impacts of live music sessions in dementia care*. Nine South Yorkshire care homes opened their doors to us and we recorded remarkable moments between the community of individuals living with dementia, their carers and loved ones, and the visiting musicians. Continue reading
Posted in Dementia, Health, Health and Wellbeing, Research
Tagged Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, dementia, dementia Age UK, dementia and music, music therapy and dementia, older people, University of Sheffield