Therapy is generally understood as a way to help older adults improve different aspects of their lives by improving mobility, boosting communication skills, bettering the management of emotions and others. Music therapy is a form of therapy that specifically using the power of song and music to help to improve the wellbeing of older adults.
To begin with, what exactly is music therapy? For people who have never experienced it, it might be hard to imagine a group of older adults just carolling together every session. However, what it does is that trained professionals will play instruments, songs, or sing and encourage the seniors to do so similarly. For some, the individuals are also encouraged to make their own music and songs. This has been proven as rather effective in helping to improve the cognitive abilities of older adults as well as increasing their ability to communicate and express themselves.
If this sounds like something that may help you or your loved one, here is more information on the benefits of music therapy.
Improves Cognitive Function
During music therapy, songs and instruments used have been shown to be able to engage the brain and promote increased blood flow. This change means that more parts of your brain will have access to nutrients, improving brain function. On top of this, by regularly engaging in new experiences, music therapy prompts individuals to be able to better process, react to stimuli and make new connections.
Especially for individuals who are coping with dementia or memory-related issues, music therapy has proven to be exceptionally helpful. This is largely because music is able to stimulate both the left and right hemispheres of your brain at the same time. What this means is that it will help to enhance memory better through this activation.
Improves Communication and Expression
There is a saying that good music transcends language. In the case of music therapy, this is definitely the case. Music can help to improve the speech of older adults by creating an environment with little pressure. Instead of being prompted to hold full conversations, they are encouraged to hum, sing, or just move their hands along to the song. This allows them to get comfortable with communicating with both their words and in alternative ways.
Reduces Stress and Depression
On top of this, music that is uplifting has been shown to help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. When cheerful music with catchy beats are played, an immersive experience with this atmosphere can help to promote a more positive disposition.
With music, the natural reaction to one of our favored songs is to move along. Whether it is swaying to the beat, tapping your feet, or even dancing along, it is a natural response that can help older adults move to the natural rhythm. This means that constant exposure can help to stimulate movement, blood circulation, and in the case of dancing, even help to encourage a more active lifestyle.
Here at Rittenhouse Village at Muhlenberg, we firmly believe in having the accessibility of such therapy options. This is why we include them in our exclusive senior living programs that are offered to all residents in our senior living community.
For more information on our programs, contact us today.