Posted: August 3, 2022
Health & Wellness
People of all ages, especially older adults, can benefit from the power of music. As a form of creative expression with a significant impact on our emotions, it’s no surprise that music can be an effective tool in therapy settings.
Music therapy has gained popularity in recent years, and now many schools and assisted living communities have added it to their offerings. Listening to music can benefit older adults by providing mental stimulation and encouraging socialization and self-reflection. Music therapy can even be an effective treatment method for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Keep reading to learn the health benefits of music therapy for older adults.
Music therapy is the clinical use of music to help accomplish goals like reducing stress and improving mood. This clinical approach can help older adults emotionally, psychologically, physically and cognitively. It can even improve a person’s communication skills.
Music therapy can be an active process or a receptive one:
A musical background or talents aren’t necessary for a person to participate in any form of music therapy. Anyone can experience its beneficial effects, though older adults may find this form of treatment especially helpful in improving their cognitive, social, physical and mental health. A music therapist may ask them to tune into their emotions while listening to or creating music based on their feelings.
Music therapeutical approaches include:
Music therapy can help individuals feel happier while alleviating physical ailments like acute and chronic pain, high blood pressure and tense muscles. The benefits of music therapy include:
Music can encourage older adults to be more physically active. Whether that means walking, dancing or stretching along with music, older adults can appreciate improvements in their:
Playing or listening to music can help older adults breathe rhythmically, improving their respiratory health and relaxing muscles. Those with osteoporosis or chronic pain may find that music is a powerful tool to release tension in the body and breathe a little easier, improving their overall quality of life. Physical benefits of music therapy for the elderly include:
The mental health benefits of listening to music have made music therapy in assisted living communities increasingly prominent. One of the primary goals of music therapy in these communities is to help older adults improve their cognitive and mental functioning and express themselves creatively.
Mental health benefits of music therapy include:
Cognitive challenges become more common as we age. Music therapy can be a powerful tool for treating depression, Alzheimer’s and age-related diseases. Since music is linked to memory, you’re more likely to associate certain songs, genres and artists with past events and milestones. These songs can help older adults connect with their memories and past experiences.
Musical memories often remain intact in those with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive challenges, making music therapy an incredibly effective treatment option. It can reduce overall anxiety, depression, agitation and stress associated with these conditions.
People with Alzheimer’s may also face communication challenges, which can lead to isolation and depression. Music can be a fantastic tool for self-expression and communicating with caregivers. Familiar songs can help individuals with memory loss hold onto their identities and experiences.
Overall, music therapy can bring joy and help clients hold onto their reality, improving the quality of life for those struggling.
More and more studies reveal the power of music in strengthening mental, physical and cognitive health. Music therapy is especially beneficial for older adults, who can appreciate relaxation, joy and creativity through making music, dancing and listening to their favorite songs.
Demaree Crossing is an assisted living community that provides memory support programs and engaging enrichment for older adults. Our welcoming community can help your loved one engage in music therapy and other creative opportunities to live a more meaningful, happier lifestyle. We aim to provide a personalized approach to life and care and help residents achieve a comfortable and supported way of life.
To learn more about our programs, contact us today.