Music is part of our everyday lives. It stimulates the brain in unique ways—lullabies relax us, peppy music enlivens us. Specific tunes evoke emotion, bring back memories, and provide an outlet for self-expression. Music therapy for Senior Citizens is a complementary treatment for depression, anxiety, and dementia.
What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is an evidence-based intervention that uses songs and rhythms to promote wellness. It involves both listening to and creating music. With the guidance of a professional music therapist, Senior Citizens can work towards their mental health goals.
Benefits of Music Therapy for Senior Citizens
Music therapy helps Senior Citizens deal with stress, depression, and chronic pain. It can enhance memory, improve communication skills, and promote positive mental health. Familiar songs remind us of the past and evoke memories. Likewise, rhythmic sounds stimulate the brain, boost cognitive ability, and bring people together. Music therapy typically happens in a group setting which helps ease feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
Music Therapy for Treating Depression and Anxiety
Music therapy is an effective way to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety when combined with talk therapy. It reduces muscle tension, increases motivation, and provides a safe emotional release. Listening to songs has a powerful effect on our minds and moods because it boosts dopamine levels in the brain. In addition, creating music lets Senior Citizens express themselves, gives a sense of accomplishment, and boosts self-esteem. A therapist can tailor combinations of listening and playing to meet individual needs.
Music Therapy and Dementia
Music is a powerful treatment strategy for dementia when combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy. For example, listening to familiar songs from their youth can help Senior Citizens recall memories from long ago. In addition, the brain processes pitch, tempo, melody, and rhythm in different regions. So, new tunes challenge the brain to understand the various sounds, which improve cognitive function. Listening to music in the evening has a calming effect on sundowner’s syndrome. Overall, music therapy can improve the quality of life for people with dementia.
Is Music Therapy Right for You?
Anyone can participate in music therapy—you don’t need musical talent. While therapy is conducted by a professional with specialized training, you can undoubtedly start playing songs at home. First, see how your loved one reacts to songs from their youth or music they’ve never heard before. Then, talk to your therapist or psychiatrist to determine if music therapy would be a good fit for your treatment plan.
At Anita’s Angels, Inc., we strive to bring joy to our clients’ lives. Our CHHHAs provide exceptional in-home care for Senior Citizens. Give us a call at 908-788-9390.