Over the years, music has always thought to hold certain powers over our moods. Whether it be to calm, energize, or relax, the type of music you listen to can affect your overall mood in a positive way that also has underlying benefits you may not even be aware of. Music therapy takes that a step further and has proven to be a helpful tool in nursing homes, hospice, assisted living homes, and hospitals throughout the country. Scientists and doctors have discovered many benefits of music therapy for the elderly and have started seeing improved cognitive abilities in many patients that have undergone music therapy.
Let us take a look at some of the benefits below:
- Music therapists have learned that playing songs from a certain era can often trigger memories associated with that style of music in a patient. Playing popular songs from when the patient was in their 20s seemed to have the strongest emotional response and memories from that era. Singing along with the songs from a patient’s youth has yielded great results in patients suffering from late-stage dementia. Seniors can recall the melody in the song, and in turn, remember the associated words.
- Music Therapy can have a positive impact on social skills as well. For patients that have suffered a stroke, are suffering from central nervous disorders such as Parkinson’s or arthritis; singing along with the music can help listeners improve muscle use in their face and mouth. In turn, this can improve the patient’s ability to form sentences, express thoughts and emotions, remember words, and communicate with peers much more effectively. If you want to add some fun to the therapy, you can incorporate finger instruments like drums, cymbals, or tambourines to improve physical functions such as motor skills and hand usage. Improving motor skills, memory and the ability to speak can vastly help a patient’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth in the later stages of their life. These small steps in therapy can go a long way in improving the quality of life in a nursing home.
- Due to the success of music therapy, some hospitals have gone the extra mile and started supplementing or even replacing pain medications in exchange for music therapy. The calming effect created by music therapy can help relax tensed muscles to eliminate pain. Much like how we can get lost in a song, the elderly can be distracted from pain by listening to uplifting or calming music.
Music therapy has come a long way since its introduction, but it has already been praised by scientists and doctors alike for its ability to help seniors regain memory, improve social skills along with reducing pain during their treatments. At Winchester Terrace nursing home, we use music therapy for our patients to help provide the best care for individual needs!
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