The lilting chords of a symphony, the crescendo of an orchestra, the soulfulness of Sufi music, the soothing effect of a Bhajan… All these are the sounds of music which bring solace to your soul and mind. Yes, Music is a great healer and is used to enhance the cognitive, emotional and behavioural skills in the elderly. Music therapy programs have now gained popularity to bring relief to the aged in their autumn years. Senior living communities have begun to realize the significance of music therapy and have integrated it into their daily routine.
What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy is the clinical use of music in the therapeutic cure of patients to improve their cognitive, sensory, emotional, motor and communicative skills. Music Therapy is of 2 types
- Active Music Therapy where both the patient is actively involved in creating music.
- Receptive Music Therapy where the patient is just a listener who receives music.
How is Music Therapy useful to the elderly?
Music Therapy plays an invaluable role in the life of the elderly. Music Therapy is very helpful in
- Maintaining a joyful spirit among the aged in their senior years
- Helping the ailing elders to cope with pain by diverting their mind from the trauma
- Helping elders cope with depression or the loss of loved ones
- Enhances the social skills of the elders facing loneliness and isolation
- Improves the psychological condition of seniors by alleviating stress
- Treating illnesses of the ageing like
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Hearing disabilities
- The palliative relief for cancer patients
Effects of Music Therapy
The effects of Music Therapy has been profound in the caring for elders.
- Ailing Seniors with osteoarthritic pain, compulsive obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and stroke victims have found significant pain relief with Music therapy.
- The cognitive and communicative skills of Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients has also improved with music.
- Even problems of postoperative delirium and insomnia have been distinctly cured with music therapy.
- Geriatric patients with hypertension have found stress relief with music therapy.
This is why assisted living facilities try to incorporate Music Therapy into the fitness regimen in caring for the ageing.
Effects of Music Therapy on Elders with Dementia
Treatment practices at residential care units and assisted living facilities have revealed that elders with Dementia find great relief with Music Therapy. Music reduces the agitation among Dementia patients and improves their memory and moods.
Effects of Music Therapy on Elders with Hypertension
Systolic Blood pressure increases with age. But Music helps in reducing the stress in elders and gives them away to ventilate their angst. Music Therapy thus significantly reduces Hypertension in the aged.
Effects of Music Therapy on Elders suffering from a stroke
Music induces positive emotions and reduces anxiety in Stroke victims. Motor movements of Stroke patients have also been found to improve by the use of piano and drums. Stroke victims also found significant pain relief by participating in karaoke, song or instrumental music practices. Thus Music Therapy assists in the faster recovery of Stroke patients.
How Music Therapy helps Seniors in assisted living facilities?
Senior Living communities employ music to provide the right care for the aged. Treatment with Music is part of the longterm care facilities provided here in assisted living since it helps in
- Supports the health and wellness of seniors by inducing positive emotions
- Reduces the stress and anxiety in elders
- Prevents loneliness and isolation through social involvement
- Improves memory and motor skills through musical exercises
- Alleviates pain in the ailing.
- Maintains the emotional and psychological balance of elders.
- Creates an environ of peace and harmony in the assisted living home
Music Therapy is magic for elders bringing relief and solace in their autumn years. Any assisted living facility or senior living community which truly believes in caring for the aged will incorporate Music therapy.