Music therapy can have some rewarding benefits for family members dealing with dementia or cognitive impairment. There are plenty of ways that music therapy can help people deal with physical or mental pain, but it can also be an enjoyable activity that makes your loved one feel happy and engaged with the world again. Here’s how music therapy for seniors works!
Music Can Improve Concentration And Memory
Multiple studies have shown that music can be effective at improving your memory and concentration, especially when it comes to recalling the information you learned years ago. Listening to music can also help you retain new information better than reading or studying without any audio stimulus.
Music Is A Great Motivator
Music stimulates brain activity, improves mood, and releases feel-good hormones. It can help family members feel less lonely or depressed, feel more connected to others, improve memory skills such as short-term recall and reaction time. Music therapy for seniors is a great option for those who might be sensitive to some of music’s side effects, such as loud noise or jarring lyrics. Plus, you don’t need to learn an instrument because professional musicians will come directly to your loved one’s home and perform specifically tailored playlists that match their needs and preferences.
Music Makes Us Feel Better
We all love music—it makes us feel better when we’re sad, energetic when we’re down, and active when we’re sluggish. The right type of music can even help us to get work done. But did you know that music can also reduce blood pressure and heart rate? Music can improve sleep quality and fight insomnia. Music is often combined with other therapies such as physical therapy and speech therapy to help heal patients with various medical conditions. This is especially true for family members who may not be able to handle traditional forms of treatment, such as surgery or chemotherapy, due to old age or overall health issues.
Music Brings People Together
The best part about music therapy is that it brings people together and helps to build a sense of community. Musicians and listeners alike create bonds as they share in music together, getting lost in a singular activity. Even without words, family members feel understood as they connect with others over their shared passion for music. As discussed previously, these connections can help reduce social isolation and increase positive self-worth—both critical factors when trying to maintain your mental health as you age.
Music Keeps Things Fun
As we age, our loved ones often tell us to slow down or to take it easy. Music can help alleviate any frustration that comes with slowing down by giving people of all ages something fun and enjoyable to do. Keep in mind that what’s fun for you may not be fun for your loved ones, so talk to them about their interests and music preferences before picking out an instrument or starting a new activity. You’ll likely find that music keeps things fun and enjoyable even as people grow older. Music therapy is also often great at calming anxiety, anger, confusion, and similar negative emotions people might experience as they age. A new hobby like music can also bring an otherwise introverted family member out of their shell and allow them to interact with others more frequently than before.