There's nothing quite like the power of music to bring back strong memories and emotions. Let's not forget — it's also a powerful way through which you can express yourself. With so much to it, it's no surprise that music therapy is popular for promoting relaxation and healing.
Music therapy is growing at a rapid rate. Many assisted living centers, community centers and schools use this form of therapy for a variety of purposes. Particularly, older adults find music therapy very beneficial. It offers them a way to channel their creativity along with an opportunity for socialization. Music therapy is excellent for stimulation, as well.
Let's look at ways music lessons and music therapy benefit those in an assisted living facility.
Surely you have had moments where you had on your favorite music and you started moving or dancing to the beat. There's nothing quite like powerful music to get people grooving and dancing to the beats. Seniors in an assisted community find that music often inspires and encourages their physical movement.
If you can associate a significant emotion, time, event or place with a piece of music, it gets embedded into the listener's brain. As a result, anytime you play that piece of music, memories come rushing back.
In a way, music evokes the part of the brain that stores memories. Therefore, music is a potentially excellent tool for improving memory and fighting dementia.
It's a well-known fact that playing an instrument can improve the brain's ability to store, process and recall memories — it also helps the pace of memory loss. Learning to play an instrument is an excellent way to stimulate brain function.
A growing number of assisted living facilities and hospices use music therapy as a way to meet the social, spiritual and emotional needs of patients.
Studies tell us that music promotes feelings of well-being, emotional stability and a deeper connection with people and nature. Music also helps people stay in the present moment — especially when helping alleviate pain and discomfort.
Overall, music is one of the finest ways to induce feelings of comfort, peace and relaxation.
Western culture inherently focuses on individuality. That's why loneliness is a big part of it. As a result, maintaining an active social network becomes increasingly difficult with advancing age. Music is one way to cut through that isolation and bring people together.
Research tells us that when the brains of people imaged when they were engaging in group music activity, their brains showed synchronicities in their neurological response to mood and rhythm. Clearly, music brings people together on a chemical level and fosters a sense of togetherness. It's great for building and developing connections.
Music makes us feel good by releasing certain chemicals that fight stress and keep us going. It's a positive stimulus that reduces the intensity of pain. Therefore, seniors who experience chronic pain will find music immensely helpful. To know more about how music can help with pain management, check out this study.
Music carries powerful psychological implications. Those who listen to music regularly tend to have a happier outlook towards life. Their social interaction is also better.
Music can dramatically improve mood, elevate emotions, and increase your interest in things. People with Alzheimer's and Dementia should particularly engage in music therapy as it helps with better recalling things.
It can trigger beautiful memories from the past which can make them feel good. It can transport them into a time when they were younger and more optimistic.
One of the leading causes of isolation at old age is the inability to communicate with your loved ones. As a result, people tend to have shorter life spans and increased health risks. They are at an increased risk for a myriad of psychological, mental and physical health issues.
In a way, music opens channels of communication.
Seniors living in assisted facilities benefit immensely from music because it boosts their mood while also fighting a sense of isolation. We already mentioned how it helps to overcome mental health issues and anxieties.
If you're someone who cares for a senior at home or in an assisted living facility, try to focus on these things while picking the right kind of music:
You can increase the stock of joyful memories and better your communication with those around you. That's the power of music that the elderly can enjoy the most.
There's more to music than meets the eye. When used rightly, it's more than just a form of entertainment. Its implications in the medical industry are immense. You just need to have the right knowledge about how to use music therapy.