Across the entire world, people connect through music. From birth all the way into our elderly year, music plays an intricate role in our lives. The tones, lyrics, and repetition draw us to the music. Scientists have taken time to look into the phenomenon of music and its correlation to humans and their emotions while listening to certain songs or singing. They have found that there are health benefits to listening to music in our daily lives. Music is especially good for seniors, as it helps with many things. View our Music Therapy services for seniors, or read on for the top five benefits of music therapy.
The top five benefits of music for seniors are that:
Music assists in recovery after a stroke: When listening to music during therapy and rehabilitation appointments, seniors have a greater improvement in both strength and balance. Music could help the stroke survivor access the part of the brain that corresponds with coordination and movement. Music also mitigates depression in those that have experienced a stroke, and assists with both auditory and verbal memory.
Music assists in preventing memory loss: Speech and music are stored in different “compartments” of the brain, so it can help a person experiencing memory loss tap into memories that words cannot. Those with dementia are able to remember things from their past, and with other people when listening to music. Simply stated, it is easier for those with memory loss to recall a melody in a past event than the name of a person that it involved. It also helps to mitigate agitation, anxiety, and promotes better quality of sleep.
Music exercises the brain: When seniors listen to music, their brains interpret the melody, recognize certain patterns, and make sense of the music that is heard. This gives the brain a great workout! When the brain is kept in good shape, it helps to combat the normal effects of aging. Joining a musical group is a great way to stay sharp!
Singing makes you feel good: Listening to your favorite tunes often leads to singing. Seniors benefit from belting out their favorite lyrics because singing creates more oxygen in the blood, and improves circulation and deep breathing. This results in a lower stress level! Singing in a group helps seniors bond, is uplifting, creates higher self esteem, and reduces feelings of anxiety. It is important for seniors to maintain a social life, and a singing group is a great way to do it.
Music spawns creativity: Seniors benefit from learning to play an instrument. One is never too old to start! Learning a new instrument makes seniors more motivated, and allows them to express themselves in a creative manner. Those that don’t have hobbies or creative outlets seem to age faster (both mentally and physically). Staying active is imperative to maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the later years.
With so many benefits of music, it is no secret that music therapy is a popular resource for those in their senior years. Music therapists can be located in any rehabilitation centers, long-term care homes, and hospice locations. It is utilized as a tool to help those that are trying to cope with chronic pain, all the way to assisting those with onset dementia. There is power in music
Music therapy is considered a type of “activity therapy,” and may be covered by Medicare or Medicaid if certain criteria is met. As with all treatments, it has to be prescribed by a physician. A treatment plan must be created, and a healthcare goal must be clearly outlined. Music therapy is outpatient mental health care. Guidelines vary by state. Of course, loved ones can also bond over a familiar song in the comfort of their own couch.
All human beings function differently, but the one constant is that they’re all affected by rhythm. Rhythm has an effect on our heart beats, speech, and even our sleep patterns. This could be why we are so drawn to music! Music helps people communicate, feel better, and live more fulfilled lives.