“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” – Victor Hugo
Your favorite song can instantly transport you back to a moment in time and remind you of a specific person, emotion or place. It is powerful and tangible. There is a great story in how our brains connect to melodies.
Think of the musical score playing during a movie scene. It can evoke joy, sadness, fear, inspiration, anticipation, anger or peace. It evokes emotion and response.
We hear it in the elevator, in the background at a restaurant or in the form of a song that gets stuck in your head for some unknown reason. Due to this palpable connection, it makes sense that music has many emotional and physical benefits to our bodies as we age.
Health -Studies show that music promotes one’s overall health. It helps with sleep, pain management and has even shown to diminish recovery time after injury or surgery. Stroke victims have seen a quicker recovery of their verbal skills when incorporating music into their rehabilitation. Music is also known to increase mobility, coordination, and cognitive ability.
Memory – Much scientific research has been done about the brain and music. Science has discovered that the area in the brain where music is processed is the least damaged by Alzheimer’s disease. Many Memory Care Facilities incorporate music in their treatment for their residents. Music stimulates the brain and has been shown to aid in verbal and cognitive skills.
Emotions -Music has the ability to reduce stress. It can calm anxiety and nervousness. Music increases positive emotions and enhances mood. Incorporating music into your routine can lead to increased happiness and better social interactions. These are benefits that can be received by any age group but particularly important for senior citizens. Music is something that can be easily accessed wherever you go and that song, that sound, that era or genre never changes no matter how much life changes as we age.
Integrating Music into Your Senior’s Routine
- Senior Living Communities often bring in local musicians to perform for their residents. Encourage your loved one to attend, or better yet, make it an opportunity to join them and experience the concert together.
- Pick up that instrument and give some attention. Perhaps you or your loved one used to play an instrument. Reviving that hobby again can help not only with memory and fine motor skills – but also is shown to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate.
- Make a playlist of your favorite songs from your favorite era or ask someone to make one for you. The internet is the perfect tool for this. Youtube is a great resource for all genres and eras of music. These playlists can easily be put on a smartphone, an ipad, ipod or MP3 player.
- Sing-a-longs are a fun, social and easy way to reap the benefits of notes and melodies. Familiar songs, especially songs that one knew as a child, are a powerful tool for activating the brain. Many musicals now have versions where the lyrics are subtitled so everyone can participate.
A Banyan Residence is committed to the complete health and wellness of your loved one. Whether incorporating music, providing an engaging social calendar or encouraging them to join a fitness class – this is a wonderful home for seniors.