The mental health benefits of music for seniors are truly remarkable – and easier to attain now than ever before. In the world today, music is instantly accessible. For those who bring smartphones or tablets with them wherever they go, hundreds of thousands – if not tens of millions of tunes – are just a couple of touches or finger swipes away. If you’re a caregiver for a senior, your smartphone can become one of the most practical tools in your possession to help tap into the benefits of music. This widely circulated video clip from the Alive Inside documentary shows just how incredibly effective music can be for seniors with limited abilities and dementia.
Music is More Accessible Than Ever Before
With vast musical libraries readily available from places like iTunes, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, and many others, we can now access music, often at no charge, in a range of styles in only seconds. Caregivers can find out what sorts of music the older adult liked to listen to during his or her lifetime. The music a senior prefers might be specific to a certain period of time, such as Big Band music, or it could be unique to his or her religious beliefs, like gospel or hymns, for example. The form of music enjoyed throughout one’s life can also relate to the person’s cultural background – such as those who prefer reggae or salsa. The older adult may also have enjoyed specific genres of music like jazz, blues, classical, country, and so forth. Regardless of the musical preference, accessibility to music can have amazing advantages.
Music Helps Seniors With Dementia Access Past Memories
Have you ever listened to a song on the radio and it took you back to a particular time in your life? Research has revealed that music is strongly linked to personal memories. The human brain is essentially hard-wired to associate music with long-term memories. This is the case even for individuals with moderate to severe dementia. Music & Memory is a non-profit business that brings personalized music into the lives of older adults through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life. The staff at Music & Memory train caregivers for the elderly and family members on how to create and use individualized playlists with digital devices in order to allow older adults who have dementia and other challenges to reconnect with the world through memories from music.
Music Helps Connect People and Reduce Anxiety
Research has also uncovered that listening to music that is familiar and loved can help in decreasing anxiety levels and increase focus on the present timeframe. This in turn encourages older adults with dementia to connect to those around them.
At Stay Home Care, our goal is always to improve the quality of life for the elderly through our specialized dementia home care services and support. And, we go the extra mile in the little things that can brighten up the days of those we serve – such as through music and other creative activities. Call us today at 615-964-7726 to learn more about our Brentwood home care services and all of the areas we serve throughout Tennessee.