It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t appreciate music. From grandparents to young children, music transcends all ages, cultures, and personalities. It can be especially beneficial to our aging population. According to the American Music Therapy Association, research studies and clinical experience show that music therapy can provide relief and comfort to seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
Music therapy, from qualified Music Therapists, and activities that promote using a variety of musical forms, such as singing, playing an instrument, or simply listening to music can provide loved ones with a sense of calm, companionship, and familiarity.
The Canadian Association of Music Therapists states that in situations where cognitive perceptions are comprised, such as in early to mid stage dementia, listening [to music] can provide a sense of the familiar, and increase orientation to reality.
Providing soft familiar music to one’s daily routine can contribute to positive well-being and promote engaging conversation about music they may like, songs they remember, and even concerts they attended in their youth.
Listening to music may also inspire or motivate an older adult to play an instrument as they once did or even sing along to a song!
The Canadian Association of Music Therapists suggest that for those with dementia, singing can encourage reminiscence and discussions of the past, while reducing anxiety and fear.
Depending on any mobility concerns, dancing to familiar music, in a chair or standing, with a partner or on their own can benefit our loved ones with moments of fun, laughter, fitness, and shared experiences.
Providing opportunities for the enjoyment of music is key to lasting well-being and positive mental, emotional, and physical health.