Music appreciation is something we all share in common at the Brookhouse Home. This summer we have had a series of Sunday afternoon concerts outside in the garden, as well as weekly music appreciation events on Thursday afternoons on the patio. Further, because our historic home was originally built as a private home in the 1800s, the acoustics in our ballroom and adjacent chamber room remains exquisite. Our visiting musicians often remark on the wonderful sound in our home.
Our appreciation of music coincides with studies on senior wellness that indicate how beneficial music is for seniors. Pleasant songs and melodies help with both physical and mental health, memory, and important social connections according to an Elder Care Alliance article by Heather Geller.
Encourages Overall Wellness
Music can evoke memories and emotions that are happy ones. Sometimes, a song or tune brings back those older memories long forgotten. Many seniors note that music also really helps improve memory, mood and lessens anxiety. The article states that music also has the power to stimulate feelings of well-being by evoking powerful memories and emotions. Seniors who have trouble remembering recent events may find meaning in songs that bring back older memories, and experts note that music can improve a person with dementia’s quality of life.
Music can be highly motivating during any type of exercise, including walking, dancing, stretching, and working out with weights, the article notes. The right music plays an important role in encouraging seniors to get more physical activity, which can help maintain independence and restore function lost due to injuries or illnesses. The article suggests selecting music that is suitable for clapping, singing, and dancing.
Music therapy is increasingly used to improve connections to happy memories and studies suggest music can increase brain chemicals that arouse positive feelings in people diagnosed with dementia. The power of music is such that recent studies suggest that it can not only treat dementia, but it can also prevent the disease, some researchers believe.
Improves Communication Skills
For some seniors, a variety of health problems can make communication more difficult as they age. The resulting isolation can increase health risks — and shorten life spans. Music-related activities in assisted living — including dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, listening to music, and watching musical performances — can spark discussions that improve connections with friends and family members. Music opens up avenues of communication that otherwise may not be available. Research has demonstrated that listening to music on a regular basis can enhance communication for people with dementia by improving cognition and language abilities.
By using the power of music, you may improve communication with your loved ones and share joyful moments together.