How Can Music Enhance Wellbeing in the Elderly?

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A group of Swedish researchers surveyed 500 adults aged 65 to 75 years to determine the importance music played in their daily lives. The completed questionnaires indicated that listening to music was commonly enjoyed as a leisure activity and was considered an uplifting experience. Music can boost a senior’s health and wellbeing in one or more of the following ways. 

Stimulates Memory 

Hearing familiar music and lyrics that were once popular during an older adult’s younger days may bring back memories. Certain songs trigger memories involving people, places, and past events, making music beneficial for seniors with dementia. Consider playing familiar music and starting a conversation that encourages your loved one to recall memories and reminisce about the past.

Listening to music is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their wellbeing. To successfully age in place, some seniors require the help of a professional caregiver. Families rely on Home Care Assistance Lincoln to provide caregivers who are expertly trained in various aspects of senior home care, including our holistic Balanced Care Method, an evidence-based program focused on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental and social stimulation, and calmness and purpose.

Elevates Mood

Along with stimulating memory, music triggers emotions. As such, music therapy might be used to calm seniors with dementia. When hearing familiar songs, seniors can stave off negative emotions in stressful situations and become more calm and relaxed. 

Reduces Pain

According to an article published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, studies indicate music may trigger various areas of the brain that help seniors manage acute and chronic pain. Music interferes with the pain-stress-pain feedback loop, which changes the way someone feels pain. These changes may occur in the limbic system, as the sound of pleasant music stimulates the release of different neurotransmitters that distract an individual’s conscious awareness of pain. The release of stress hormones is also inhibited, which interferes with stimulating the pituitary-adrenal systems. Music may also stimulate the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relief chemicals. 

Promotes Cognitive Health

Dancing, singing, or playing a musical instrument all stimulate a number of areas in the brain, including memory. The audio center pays attention to the sounds being created while the areas that govern physical movement are stimulated to create the sound or the appropriate dance movements. The visual center is stimulated when reading music on the page. By keeping the communication between neurons and brain areas active and functional, music can boost cognitive health.

Seniors who need regular mental and social stimulation should consider professional in-home care. For families living in Lincoln, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.  

Encourages Exercise

It is important for seniors to perform some type of exercise routine, and music can be a part of the workout. Older adults might enjoy listening to an MP3 player while out for a casual stroll. Music is often played during exercise classes to enable participants to control their breathing and perform an exercise along with the beat of a song. A study conducted by a group of Swedish researchers found that when seniors exercised to music, they had better balance, which reduced the number of falls they experienced.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Lincoln, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 916.226.3737 today.

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