There are more and more people taking advantage of music therapy for the elderly. Music has a unique way of making one feel joy and jolting positive memories. These experiences can bring up emotions and past experiences. A single song can spark positive emotions and feelings in a matter of seconds.
There are plenty of different things that elderly people are grappling with as they age. Isolation, illness and limited physical activity can negatively impact their emotional, mental, and even physical health. Luckily, there are things like music therapy that can help. Music Therapy is a process of using different musical techniques to help one achieve better emotional, mental, and physical health. It’s especially useful within the senior population.
What Is It?
Music Therapy is a therapy that uses different treatments that include listening to, singing, and even creating music for emotional, mental, social, and physical health. 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 could include listening to music, creating music, and dancing. The elderly population can take the skills and experiences gained with music therapy and applying them to the different areas of their lives.
As caregivers, we are always seeking ways to shown to have a positive impact on the health and wellness of seniors. This includes those that are going through physical rehabilitation, working on their movement, and even those who need more motivation. It’s also shown to be effective at helping people get through tough times and better deal with their emotions.
How Does Music Therapy For The Elderly Work?
This type of therapy has shown to be effective for different symptoms. This is especially true for the aging demographic helping with their 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.
It helps to do many things. For one, it helps to stimulate cognitive function. By stimulating cognitive function, it gives clients different opportunities to learn various skills. It also helps them activate knowledge they may have already retained previously. This type of therapy offers both short and long-term benefits with recall. It promotes different exercises that strengthen recall including sing-alongs, rhythm work, dancing, and even music association.
It’s proven to be a healthy exercise for those who suffer from cognitive decline. This includes those that have dementia and other issues. A dementia patient may be able to remember things better or at least associate the music with feelings of joy and happiness. It helps them better position themselves in their reality by playing music that they can associate with real life.
The Different Types Of Music Therapy Treatments
There are several different kinds of music therapy treatment options available for those who need it. These include:
A lot of seniors will enjoy listening to the music they grew up listening to. Because of this, it’s better to go with their generation of music. Doing so, helps them recall their favorite artists from their younger days. With these song exercises, they can choose the various songs that uplift their spirits and that help enhance their mood. This helps them relive the good times in their lives and helps drive out positive emotions too.
Name a Song
This is another very common activity that participants do when they are doing music therapy. During this activity, short clips of music will be played. From there, it gives the elderly patients the chance to try to explore their minds and recall the song’s name. This helps them dig up some memories from the past when they are listening to the music because it strengthens their memory recall from decades ago.
This is an activity that can bring joy to anyone. A lot of seniors will find plenty of happiness being able to choose their favorite songs to play. However, sing-alongs bring just as much joy, if not more. This gives them the chance to not only choose their favorite songs to listen to, but also to sing along with them. They may even be inspired to dance along with it. For any larger groups, the therapist could 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 involved.
Playing 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 more. By giving the seniors the chance to enjoy more downtime with this music, it can help them promote better sleep.
Benefits and Expected Results Of Music Therapy For The Elderly
Music therapy is a fun and simple option to keep our brains active and young. It helps them recall older memories and to ward off depressive thoughts and feelings. This is important because depression is common among the elderly. Music also helps aging population enhance their 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 will burn more calories and get better movement in their daily life through clapping, toe-tapping, and more.
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. This can help them delve into their past and experience that joy and happiness all over again.
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 for help. It is also a great place to gather your care circle inputs for creating a custom music selection while helping your loved ones move through the cycle of aging better.