How to play health and happiness by ear
Everyone knows how uplifting, moving and pleasurable listening to music can be. Our favorite pieces can fire us up for exercise or wind us down when we need to relax. But of all age groups, it’s perhaps seniors who stand to benefit most from the benefits music can offer. If you’ve been neglecting this simple way to improve your loved one’s well-being, help give them a tune up with the tips below.
Music can reduce stress and fight disease
The good feelings music can produce are every bit as scientific as they are emotional. The American Psychological Association has highlighted these beneficial effects on health. Cortisol (the hormone that is associated with stress) sees production reduced when listening to music. Even more remarkably, our bodies are stimulated to produce more virus-battling antibodies to protect us from disease. If a senior engages in some fun exercise to music, then a higher production of endorphins is added to this list, and endorphins elevate mood and promote a sense of well-being.
Music improves the memory
A study presented by Psychology Today illustrates how music can give a positive boost to both episodic (autobiographical memories of our personal lives) and semantic (dealing with universal human experience) memory. An increase in the mind’s processing speed was also recorded under test conditions when instrumental music was favored over lyrical pieces.
With over 5 million Americans affected by Alzheimer’s Disease, the power of music can be a valuable tool in aiding recall. Familiar tunes and songs can trigger memories where other methods might fail.
Music can reduce recovery time
No one likes to wait out a recovery in hospital, and this trying time can be even more time-consuming for seniors. Music has proven to speed up the recovery process for patients getting back on their feet after heart or stroke issues, as well as improve mobility and mood for Parkinson’s sufferers.
There is a great deal of research to support the overall positive effects of music, and music therapy can even be prescribed by a physician. The American Music Therapy Association exists to promote understanding of this medically-recognized therapy, and this valuable source can give you some quick advice on important music therapy points.
Soothe into sleep
If a senior’s mind is refusing to settle down for the night, a relaxing piece of music can help focus the mind on its rhythm rather than its thoughts. It’s important to realize that softer, slower, gentler beats will encourage sleep over louder and more fast-paced ones. The pace of the music can cause the heart rate to slow in unison, which encourages relaxation and sleep.
The sounds of nature can also be perfect for this purpose. Try the sound of rain, thunder, ocean waves, or wind if music hasn’t had the desired effect.
Meet up to music and feel the benefits
Last but not least, where there’s music, there’s often people and dancing, and the benefits of socializing for the elderly are huge and well-documented. Combining music with a get-together is great way to boost your senior’s wellbeing.
Since 2000, it has been FirstLantic’s privilege to provide the highest caliber of service and attention to our clients in Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Martin Counties. If you or your loved one are looking for home health care in South Florida, whether hourly, daily, or overnight call us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 561-270-5961 or complete our online form.