You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy music. There’s so many styles and genres, it seems like no matter what your preference, there’s got to be music out there for everyone to enjoy.
It’s also incredibly simple. Thanks to technology, music is pretty much at our fingertips at any given time, a click or a swipe away on our phones or tablets. If your parent or loved one is receiving senior care in their home, they may have an old radio or record player that is nostalgic to them, and you! Ask them if they would like to take a step back in time by playing some of the artists or songs from their generation and see what music can do for their well being.
Here are three ways that studies have shown that music and music therapy can help with seniors.
According to research published online in the medical journal Brain today, listening to music in the early stages after a stroke can improve a patient’s recovery.
Researchers from Finland found that if stroke patients listened to music for a couple of hours a day, their verbal memory and focused attention recovered better and they had a more positive mood than patients who didn’t listen to anything or who listened to books on tape.
A study appearing online in the journal Neuropsychology suggests that music lessons may help keep the brain healthy as people grow older. Researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center divided 70 healthy adults, ages 60 to 83, into three groups based on their amount of musical experience: no musical training, one to nine years of music lessons, and at least 10 years of musical study.
More than half of those with a music background studied piano, about one-quarter played woodwind instruments such as the flute or clarinet, and others played string instruments, percussion or brass instruments.
The participants — who had similar fitness and education levels and were free of Alzheimer’s disease — were given several cognitive tests. Those with the greatest amount of musical experience did best on these tests of mental fitness, followed by those with less musical study and those who never took music lessons.
Compared to non-musicians, the people with a high degree of musical experience had much higher scores on the cognitive tests, and the benefits of musical study were still apparent even in those who no longer played an instrument, the researchers said.
Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Director of Geriatrics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, explains that because music affects so many parts of the brain, it touches areas that may not be damaged by the disease and brings those pathways to the forefront. The result is the astounding “awakening” that often occurs.
Whether you play music for your senior every day, or just at times of increased stress, encourage their caregivers to incorporate music into their lives for added comfort while receiving senior care at home.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Central Point, OR, please contact the caring staff at Southern Oregon In-Home Care today! Proudly Serving Seniors in Josephine & Jackson Counties, Oregon. Call us today! (541) 236-4247.
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