Whether we’re desk drummers or toe tappers, everyone feels a special connection to music. Studies now show that music therapy for senior citizens has numerous benefits, both mentally and physically.
Whether we’re desk drummers or toe tappers, everyone feels a special connection to music. Studies now show that music therapy for senior citizens has numerous benefits, both mentally and physically. From alleviating pain to helping improve recovery time here are some of the benefits discovered from music therapy:
- Improving mobility
- Increasing memory recall
- Managing stress
- Expressing feelings
- Improving social interaction
- Increasing communication
Music therapists such as Moreen Bosch, observes the impact of music therapy on a regular basis. She is able to rekindle seniors’ passion for music and use this passion to facilitate music interventions. There are positives not only from listening to music but also playing music. String instruments, such as the guitar or piano, increases mobility. On the other hand, instruments such as the harmonica can actually increase lung capacity.
A couple of students at the Juntendo University of Medicine in Bunkyo, Tokyo (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17348758) did a case study where they observed the long term effects of music therapy. A major finding resulted: the group not exposed to the music intervention had significantly higher systolic blood pressure (pressure measured in arteries) than the group who was exposed to the music intervention. Overall, the group with the intervention (as opposed to the non-intervention group) had maintained a better physical and cognitive state of mind.
Some tips to help your loved-one participate in music therapy:
- Discover what type of music they are interested in and compile a CD or playlist with their favorite music.
- See if they are interested in playing a musical instrument
- If you can, play along with them, or listen to them sing
- Talk with them about what music was like when they were younger, who were their favorite bands, artists etc.
Music therapy has been shown to help persons dealing with Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, cardiac and cerebral diseases, high blood pressure, anxiety, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The list goes on and on. But if your loved one is suffering from any number of these diagnosis, try finding relief in music.
Medicine isn’t always the answer for everything, and music can be a powerful healing agent. Here is a video of a man named Henry, who proves just that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyZQf0p73QM&feature=player_embedded
Henry says it best, “I figure right now I feel the world needs to come into music. You’ve got beautiful music here.” So why waste it?