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Benefits Of Music Therapy For The Elderly

Written by CircleOf Staff writers

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Why are people talking about music therapy for the elderly? Music has a unique way of bringing joy and jolting positive memories. A single song can spark positive emotions and feelings in seconds.

There are plenty of different things that elderly people grapple with as they age. Isolation, illness and limited physical activity negatively impacts emotional, mental, and physical health. How to help?

Music Therapy is a formal process of using different musical techniques to help people with emotional, mental, and physical health. It’s especially useful within the senior population.

What Is It?

Music Therapy is different ‘treatments’ that include listening to, singing, and even creating music. According to the American Music Therapy Association, formal music therapy was defined and first used by the United States War Department in 1945. It helped military service members recovering in Army hospitals with occupational therapy, education, recreation and physical reconditioning. A music therapy session included listening to music, creating music, and dancing.

As caregivers, we are always seeking ways to have a positive impact on the health and wellness of those we take care of. This includes those in physical rehabilitation, working on their range of movement, and all of those who need more motivation to get moving. Music is shown to be effective at helping people get through emotionally tough times and better cope.

How Does Music Therapy For The Elderly Work?

Music therapy has shown to be effective for symptoms of emotional, physical, and even spiritual needs. Music therapy is a go-to a clinical treatment plan for therapists who are working with elderly patients as well as those who have survived a stroke or have dementia or alzheimer’s.

Music helps stimulate cognitive function and opens up new opportunities to learn skills. It also helps activate knowledge and memory. This type of therapy offers both short and long-term benefits with recall.

Recent research backs this up and points to the fact that music may improve mental health as much as exercise. A scientific review published in JAMA concludes that music’s benefit to mental health is actually comparable to that of exercise.

Looking for a healthy exercise for those who have cognitive decline such as demetias and alzheimers? A dementia patient may be able to remember things better or at least feel joy and happiness associated with music.

Music Therapy Treatments

There are several different kinds of music therapy treatment options available for those who need it. These include:

Song Selection

A lot of us enjoy hearing the music they grew up with. It’s best to go with their generation of music. My mom loved Neil Diamond, as do I, so we belt out anything from Hot August Nights. With song exercises, people choose the songs that uplift their spirits and that help make their day. We all like to relive the good times in our lives and feel the happiness.

Name a Song

Name a song or name that tune is common activity in music therapy. While it seems simple on the outside, this is a memory exercise. First, play a short clips of music. Next try to recall the song’s name, melody and lyrics. This helps dig up some memories from the past and strengthens memory recall.

Sing Along

Karaoke anyone? A lot of seniors will find plenty of happiness being able to choose their favorite songs to play. Sing-alongs bring just as much joy, if not dancing. For any larger groups, the therapist display the lyrics to the song for everyone to sing along with. Some therapists have found more success by having different performances of popular sing-along songs. This is a good way to get friends and family play too.

Play Classical Music

This is a genre of music that is well known to be good for mental health. Not only is it relaxing, but it’s a good way to promote relaxation and mood. Give seniors the chance to enjoy more downtime with this music, it can help promote more restful sleep.

Benefits and Expected Results Of Music Therapy For The Elderly

Music therapy is a simple way to keep our brains active and young. It helps our loved ones recall memories and ward off depressive thoughts and feelings. Depression is common among the elderly. Music helps our aging population enhance speaking skills and improve their memory. It can also help to slow the deterioration of speech skills when one suffers from dementia.

Physical Skills: Music therapy can be a good way to encourage people to move. It can help them get more movement into their daily life by encouraging them to dance more. They burn more calories and keep better movement in their daily life through clapping, toe-tapping, and shaking what their mama gave them.

Cognitive Well-Being: Music therapy is a good way to help people retain their memories and process them. Music is one of the best ways to recall something from because it has strong ties to events and memories from the past.

To achieve the best results with music therapy, you need to find the right music. The music needs to resonate with the person you are caring for. Learn what music was played during their wedding or other significant moments in their lives. It’s all about resurfacing joy and purpose.

Music therapy is a fun addition to help your loved one age gracefully. It can ward off depression and help boost their spirits in more ways than one. The CircleOf app is designed to help ensure that caregivers can organize, collaborate, and ask the tam for the next song in your mixed tape. So gather your care circle’s custom music selection and help your loved ones move through the tempo of aging.

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