A famous European orchestra conductor once said, “Music comes from heaven. You just have to pull it down.”
If you’re a senior living at home alone, and you have access to a radio, tape player, television, DVD player or even an old record player, you can pull some down! Then, you’ll discover many benefits of music therapy for seniors.
Locked in the memory of every person is a connection to rhythm and melody. Music has a way of easing mental strain and can alter a person’s mood. Rhythm and melody are at the core of music’s beneficial magic.
How Music Therapy is Beneficial to Seniors?
Music therapy can promote better physical and mental health in a variety of ways by:
- Relieving boredom
- Motivating movement
- Rekindling positive memories
- Shifting negative thinking patterns
- Calming nervousness
- Encouraging happy thoughts
- Promoting social interaction
1) Relieving Boredom
As seniors become less physically active, they can become lost in the silence of their minds from day to day. For some, impaired hearing can contribute to a sense of social disconnection, loneliness and boredom.
For seniors with a hearing loss, the music volume may need to be louder. In some cases, headphones may be the appropriate method to make it possible for them to enjoy the benefits of music. Adjusting bass and treble sounds can make a difference in what they are able to hear. Listening to music will add variety to the day.
2) Motivating Movement
It has been found that even such minimal movement as tapping a foot or clapping hands is enough activity to release pent-up mental and physical stress, and bring a little joy into the room. For many seniors who are able, dancing to music is a wonderful way to exercise. Being swept into the rhythm of music can lower blood pressure and stimulate organs in the body.
Whatever level of physical activity a senior is comfortable with can be paired with a musical motivator. From a slow and steady waltz to a happy jitterbug, most seniors will be motivated to activity on some level.
3) Rekindling Positive Memories
Music speaks to our emotions and seniors know the emotional language of music from their day and time. The sounds of Lawrence Welk, for example, can bring back bubbling champagne memories from the big band era or the storytelling cadence of old time country music.
4) Shifting Negative Thinking Patterns
Hearing music is a stimulus that can shift a senior’s negative thinking pattern. As a daily therapy, listening to music can begin to form a more positive thinking cycle by shifting the senior’s attention.
5) Calming Nervousness
Just as singing a lullaby to a baby can work magic, music can calm a nervous senior. Select music that is slow and peaceful, music that evokes a sense of beauty and well-being. A fragile nervous system requires delicate sensitivity to avoid overload and music therapy is a good vitamin for that ailment!
6) Encouraging Happy Thoughts
Happy music promotes happy thoughts. Happy music has a way of lingering in a person’s mind. Upbeat and light music can be like a shot of vitamin C each day and make the sun shine when skies are grey.
7) Promoting Social Interaction
Whether the music is listened to with headphones or enjoyed in a group, it will lift the spirits and promote a greater sense of life and living.
Music therapy is like food for the soul. It can bring joy to the heart and fresh air to the lungs. Singing songs and letting rhythm move both body and mind to better health and happiness is a therapy that is free!