How Can Music Therapy Benefit Older Adults?
Music—it’s involved in many of our memories and plays an important role in our daily lives. But how can it be used to benefit our health?
According to the Older Americans Act of 1992, music therapy is defined as “the use of musical or rhythmic interventions specifically selected by a music therapist to accomplish the restoration, maintenance, or improvement of social or emotional functioning, mental processing or physical health of an older individual.”
Our in-home care providers at Qualicare fully believe in the power of music and the benefits it can bring to both older adults and their caregivers.
The Benefits of Music Therapy
Have you ever turned on a song and a memory instantly filled your mind? Music has been shown to do the same thing for our loved ones.
Music therapy has also been proven to help some seniors restore and maintain their health, as well as recall memories and fight depression.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits music therapy can provide to your loved one, including:
Enhanced Cognitive Skills
Do you remember the last song you heard that brought you back to a certain period in your life? Wasn’t it amazing how that song transported you to an event in your childhood or young adult life?
Imagine what it does, then, when your elderly loved one hears a song the evokes a memory.
Especially if your loved one has dementia, a song that brings back a memory can help him or her communicate with others through the song when he or she might be usually silent.
Improved Speech Skills
Certain health conditions and even medications can make speaking and communication difficult for older adults.
However, through music therapy, some elderly patients are able to better answer questions and make decisions by having the ability to speak up more clearly to where other people can understand.
In addition, dementia patients, who might be unable to speak, can still recognize a song being sung or hummed to them.
Being a caregiver can be stressful. Losing your independence can be stressful. Therefore, stress can be a huge part of both you and your loved one’s day when a bad day occurs.
If you feel a stressful day coming on, play some music that will help ease the stress. Ballads and lullabies tend to be a favorite, especially since they promote relaxation and less agitation.
The main thing you want to make sure you are doing during music therapy is choosing the types of music your loved one enjoys. You are looking for music to resonate with him or her.
Therefore, you want to use some of your loved one’s favorite songs from his or her time and not necessarily on the radio today, unless it is a song he or she enjoys.
Looking for help with the daily challenges of caregiving? Contact us today to learn how our in-home care providers can help. Visit the Qualicare website today to learn more!