As Bob Marley once said, “One good thing about music when it hits you, you feel no pain.” And, ain’t that true!
Music has the power to make us feel good. Music can lift us when we’re feeling down, it can remind us of times gone by. Music can also provide comfort, and make us relax. It’s no wonder they say music is good for us, at any age. However, for seniors, the benefits are even greater.
Managing stress is an important skill to master, especially for older people. The soothing power of music can be an extremely effective stress management tool. Listening to music can prevent the heart rate and blood pressure increasing, which are stress indicators, and decrease the levels or cortisol, the primary stress hormone.
Music and song have been known to evoke emotions that unlock memories, and kick start grey matter. It stimulates the brain to secrete ‘feel-good’ chemicals such as melatonin, serotonin, and norepinephrine in Alzheimer’s patients. In some cases, music can inspire people who are non-verbal to hum or sing.
Increase Social Interaction
We all understand the importance of seniors staying socially connected. Socialising helps decrease feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Contact with others gives us a sense of belonging. Music can bring people together and even broaden social networks.
In addition to healing the mind, music also has positive effects on the body. Compiling a favourite playlist is a great way to motivate people when they exercise. Fast, upbeat, music makes us want to exercise longer. As people grow older, seniors can find it more difficult to exercise. By motivating them with music, movement and exercise benefits their physical fitness, and encourages a better night’s sleep.
It’s easy to integrate music into your elderly loved one’s life:
- Create a personalised playlist of music from an era they enjoy.
- Have a sing-along with them. Songs from the past are quite catchy and uplifting.
- Take your loved one to a concert. Local community halls often host cabaret shows and various musical performances.
A little music can go a long way to soothing the soul.