Article by Materahub – Image credits: medicalnewstoday.com
Music Therapy for the Elderly is becoming increasingly popular, it has a way of sparking wonderful feelings and memories within a listener. These feelings and emotions are often matched with an individual’s past experiences, providing comfort, contentment, and joy. Many older adults are facing difficult chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and more. Within this aging population, they may also find themselves facing age-related issues and circumstances which affect their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Thankfully, the use of musical techniques has been proven effective for people of all ages and abilities, including the seniors who are in need of emotional security and well- being.
What Is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy uses specific treatments that may include creation, movement, singing, and listening to music. Previous research has shown that Music Therapy can help in multiple areas of health and well-being within seniors, including physical rehabilitation and movement facilitation, an increase in people’s motivation, emotional support for clients and their loved ones, and a creative outlet to express feelings and emotions.
Music Therapy for the elderly has been proven to be effective for a variety of symptoms and trouble areas for the senior population, such as their physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological needs. Music Therapy activates both long term and short-term recall with exercises like sing-alongs, dancing, the use of rhythm instruments, and musical association.
There is a wide range of Music Therapy treatment options available, including:
Song Selection: many seniors enjoy listening to music from their generation most, and can likely recall their favourite artists from their younger years, caregivers can choose uplifting songs that help to bring their mind to a better place, and relive past experiences that bring positive emotions.
Name a Song: a popular activity amongst seniors, caregivers and music therapists is naming songs, based off of short clips. This exercise provides elderly individuals the ability to explore their mind for old favourite tunes, and conger up memories from different decades of their life.
Sing-Along: much in the same way that seniors can find joy through song selection activities, providing the opportunity to sing-along to their favourite songs means that they can recall lyrics, and maybe even be inspired to dance if it’s within their abilities.
Playing Classical Music: Classical music is known to be relaxing and is commonly used as a way for people of all ages to unwind. By providing seniors with the opportunity to enjoy some downtime, such as before bed, they can begin to calm down and relax, creating a nurturing environment for a good night’s sleep.
The benefits and expected results of Music Therapy for the Elderly can help some of the elderly population maintain good physical and mental health, allowing them to recall old memories and fight off bouts of depression that are common in this age group. Seniors can improve their speech skills, physical movements through dance and playing rhythmic instruments, cognitive well-being skills to keep their memories active.