Mirroring on music is a revalidation tool, a must after a stroke, indispensable for people with Parkinson, a communication tool which also has the power to bring people with dementia physical & mentally in motion.
Can be used in: Hospitals, Care homes, rehabilitation centres and at home.
Can be carried out by: Family, friends, nurses, care workers and volunteers.
How does it work?
When I stand opposite you and I make a waving motion. My waving motion is directly copied by your mirror neurons in your head. At that moment the base of the waving movement is present in your brain. Making the movement yourself is going to be easier and you can “remember” the movement.
For example when are together at a big dinner and I notice that you can’t find your glass of wine, you could be confused or maybe the wine is stronger then you are. Whatever it is, I want to help you. So I make eye contact with you, and I slowly drink a few times from my glass. At that moment I set your mirror neurons at working and helping you to “remember” finding your glass.
How mirroring helps people with dementia
Mirroring is a powerful and easy way to help people with dementia who are lost in the moment. You help them “remember” what to do and at the same time you help them to make the movement.
Mirroring was for me a great to help my mother when she was lost in public. I did not have to speak, I only had to make the movements which “reminded” her what do.
Research has proven that people with dementia can learn new and old things again by mirroring. This is a better and a more pleasant way of helping and learning, then telling a person with dementia over and over the same thing, with little chance that it will be remembered.
Mirroring as first aid by care actions
When a person has difficulties with doing activities, for example toothbrushing or shaving, make those gestures in front of the person, set the mirroring neurons at work!
You make it easier for the person to do those movements and you help him to “remember” the movements.
An example from my own experience of how mirroring on music is bringing people with dementia physical & mentally in motion:-
During a break from training in a nursing home, there came a man and his daughter into the room. They asked me what I was doing, I explain it and asked them if they want to try it themselves. Yes they would like to do that. The man was stately and distant but at the moment this man started to move on the music there appears a whole different kind of man. His daughter was visibly surprised but she continued mirroring her father. After a week I got a mail from the manager of that nursing home saying; In the afternoon after the mirroring the man has joined the activity club for the first time and his daughter starts now every visit with mirroring on music with her father.
Better motor skills in Parkinson' s
All the great ballet schools in the world have special classes for people with Parkinson's, where mirroring on music is a very important part of. Every person with Parkinson's could benefit from going to moving on music once or twice a week, because it contributes to better motor skills. Being active involved with music contributes to your motor skills, always! Therefore it is so important that people with physical limitations are being active involved with music, like singing, making music, dancing or mirroring on music.
In Tool 2 I told you about a man from Pakistan with Parkinson’s & Dementia and how with the help of Music & Dance his morning ritual could be done in half the time.
Revalidation Help & Support
At every revalidation music and mirroring on music are very powerful revalidation tools as music is helping the brain find & make new connections and during mirroring on music people can make movements which they can’t make alone.
Very important by rehabilitation after a stroke.
For you, to try - During training I always do mirroring on music. After this people are always telling me “now I understand the power of mirroring” so try it yourself. Especially for you I have made a player with mirroring music, so let’s mirror! -
Click on play
Stand opposite to each other - Try not to think - Let the music move you - Feel what happens
Caught up in Repeated movements, how mirroring can help
You can use mirroring by people who caught up in repeated movements.
If a person is banging on the table, you can go sit opposite of that person and mirroring his banging. At the moment you start mirroring you make contact. Step by step you can try to change the rhythm and expand the “conversation” Unfortunately we often call banging on a table problem behaviour. But most of the time problem behaviour is a way of communication for people with little or non-communication possibilities and for those who don’t dare or can’t speak about things. So the banging on the table can be a cry for help, it could meaning “Help me I feel not well” or “It’s too hot or too cold here for me”. There will be a chapter about this in Ignar’s dementia Guide “Problem behaviour versus Signal behaviour”.
A fun to do care home activity Mirroring on music is a great fun to do activity in a care home. The residents have an exercising which is fun to do and which bring them also mentally in motion. This is an activity where the family can participate with. You know only together we can realize a dementia care where everybody is happy with: You, the nurses, the family and the people with dementia.
Mirroring Cost nothing - Big impact!