The Healing Power of Music
Music Therapy Programming for Seniors
In the world of cognitive psychology, the connections between music and memory have long been researched and explored. Our brains are essentially wired to connect music to long-term memory. On a personal level, all of us have likely experienced just how powerful music can be. Music can transport us back in time. A specific song can trigger a vivid memory. Certain songs may help us recall old friends or family members who have passed on.
For health care professionals, music is an important programming element for seniors. Because music can combat cognitive decline, music therapy can be used for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Music can also provide comfort to patients in palliative or hospice care.
More generally, music therapy activities are among the strategies to promote creative aging, which is the practice of enriching seniors’ daily lives with arts and music education and creative expression. Music can promote good mental health, provide mental stimulation, and reduce stress for seniors.
These are just a few simple ways that senior care professionals and at-home caregivers alike can provide music therapy activities.
- Connect music to history. Do some research and create a playlist of popular songs from when your senior was in high school or in their early twenties or thirties. Play and enjoy the songs together. You may be surprised at the memories or stories that are shared!
- Recreate musical theater at home. It may not be possible for your senior to attend local performances or concerts. Have an “at-home” musical experience instead. Stream a favorite musical on television or listen to a recording of an opera.
- Incorporate music into your daily routine. Some caregiving tasks, like bathing or dressing, may be particularly difficult or stressful for your senior. Consider playing familiar or favorite songs in the background as a way to alleviate stress.
We hope you enjoy finding new ways to bring music to your seniors. If we can provide any additional support or guidance, please reach out to our team.