It’s easy for many of us to take music for granted – we have heard so many different songs from so many different artists, we often don’t think twice about it. But for seniors in home care, music can be considered a medicine of the mind! Especially if a senior is struggling with memory loss or cognitive ability. There are several proven health benefits that music provides our seniors, and we’re discussing them all at length below.
Decreased Pain from Chronic Illness
Let’s talk about the physical health benefits of music therapy, first. For as many benefits of music provides for the mind, there are just as many for the body! Research has found that there is a positive correlation between listening to music and physical exercise. When seniors listen to music while exercising, they are likely to exercise harder and/or for a longer period of time. Undoubtedly, physical activity contributes to better physical health and longevity.
This also means that listening to music can improve immune function and help decrease any pain experienced from chronic illnesses. Both music and physical activity help to lower the stress hormones produced, so the more physical exercise seniors perform, the less likely they are to get stressed out, which will increase their immune function.
Stimulates the Brain and Improves Mood
The most important way music can help seniors in home care is by stimulating their brains. A senior’s brain will literally respond to specific, therapeutic music. How, you ask? It’s basically a total workout for the brain. Listening to (and playing) music improves seniors’ mental alertness, quality of sleep, memory, and mood.
Music can also physically stimulate hits of dopamine, which is a positive emotion in the rewards center of a senior’s brain. This leads to a sense of joy or elation, and in turn can even reduce stress and anxiety. By listening to music, seniors can prevent a rise in heart rate and blood pressure while decreasing levels or cortisol, and thus, less stress!
It is also worth discussing how much happier music makes seniors feel. Music therapy is great for encouraging social interaction, relieving boredom, and calming the nerves – All factors that help to keep feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression at bay.
Would you like to learn more about the health benefits of music for seniors in home care? Please feel free to call Home Care Assistance to schedule a consultation!