Music Therapy for Seniors: What Are the Benefits? - Peregrine

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May 19, 2023  -  Assisted Living

Music Therapy for Seniors: What Are the Benefits?

Music can be a powerful tool for many seniors to improve their well-being. In fact, music therapy has been used as a way to evoke emotion, connect people, and promote healing.

Today, music therapy is gaining popularity as an enjoyable way for seniors to improve their physical and emotional health.

Music therapy can significantly impact seniors’ quality of life, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving memory and cognitive function. 

What Is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is defined as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program” by the American Music Therapy Association.

Music therapy is a distinct and adaptable type of therapy that can be tailored to each individual’s needs. It can be done either individually or in groups, and it can be used to address a wide range of physical and emotional challenges.

Music therapy can consist of:

  • Listening to music
  • Playing instruments
  • Singing
  • Dancing to music

Benefits of Music Therapy for Seniors

Music therapy can have numerous benefits for seniors. Here are a few examples of how music therapy can improve physical and emotional well-being later in life:

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Listening to soothing music can help seniors relax and can reduce stress and anxiety. Music therapy can also provide a sense of comfort and security, and it can have excellent benefits for individuals affected by Alzheimer’s.

Improves Mood

Music can uplift and energize seniors, making them feel happier and more content. In this sense, music therapy can be especially beneficial for seniors suffering from depression or other mood disorders.

Enhances Memory and Cognitive Function

Listening to familiar music can help seniors recall past memories and improve their cognitive function. Music therapy can also help seniors with dementia or other cognitive impairments maintain their cognitive abilities for a longer period of time.

Senior woman sitting outside smiling and selecting her workout song on her iPod before exercising

Promotes Physical Activity

Seniors can participate in music therapy by singing, playing instruments, or dancing, which can increase physical activity and mobility. This is especially important for seniors who may have challenges with their balance or other physical limitations.

Provides a Sense of Community

Music therapy can be a social activity that allows seniors to connect with others and form meaningful relationships.

Helps to Manage Pain

Listening to music can help seniors manage their pain levels by distracting them from their pain. Music therapy can also assist seniors in dealing with chronic pain or other physical discomforts.

Improves Communication

Music therapy can help seniors communicate and express themselves in ways that words may not allow. This can be especially beneficial for seniors who are experiencing communication difficulties or cognitive decline.

Boosts Self-Esteem

Seniors who participate in music therapy may experience a sense of accomplishment and increased self-esteem, particularly if they’re learning a new skill or performing in front of others. This can be important for seniors who may be dealing with mental health challenges.

Getting Started with Music Therapy

There are numerous resources available if you or a loved one are interested in learning more about music therapy.

Music therapy programs may be available at your local senior living community, such as Peregrine Senior Living, or you can find a licensed music therapist in your area. 

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Consult your doctor: Before beginning any new therapy, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for you or a loved one.
  • Find a licensed music therapist: Look for a licensed music therapist who has completed a recognized music therapy program.
  • Consider group or individual sessions: Depending on your preferences and needs, music therapy can be done in a group or individual setting.
  • Choose the right music: The music used in music therapy can vary depending on individual goals. Choose calming and uplifting music for relaxation and mood enhancement or music that is more energizing for physical activity.
  • Be open-minded: When trying music therapy, keep an open mind and be willing to try different approaches or types of music to find what works best for you or your loved one.

The Peregrine Way

Music therapy can have a significant impact on seniors’ physical and emotional well-being later in life. It can be a powerful tool for seniors to improve their quality of life, from reducing stress and anxiety to enhancing memory and cognitive function for those with memory care needs.

With Peregrine Senior Living’s approach to memory care, we aim to gently stimulate an individual’s long-term memory in a calm and comfortable setting. We hope to achieve this by establishing links between significant long-term memories and the present moment, allowing us to assist in transforming the lives of our residents.

Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about The Peregrine Way.

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