Music for Seniors
No one would argue that music can make wonders sometimes. Everyone heard about its dealing with pain, both physical and psychological. However, this is just one part of the wonder.
Apart from keeping you well and in good mood, music also brings a great number of benefits. Here is what it gives to seniors above other people.
- Music is good for brain activity. In accordance with the Johns Hopkins study listening to music equals to a “total brain workout”. When it comes for seniors, listening to music is definitely a way to stay focused and in tune.
- The more you listen, the better you hear. A research shows that people who are used to listening and practicing music are less prone to hearing impairments when they age.
- Listening to music works magic with your heart rate. In fact, it helps to keep it under control (especially in patients after surgery – e.g. Bryan Memorial Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital findings).
- Singing is great for those who recover after stroke. A Finnish study discovered that interesting connection while studying patients who showed a much faster results in communication if they sang.
- Music keeps your immune system strong. Another research showed the levels of the antibody Immunoglobulin A increase in patients who love listening to music and do it regularly.
- Sleep better with your favorite tunes. In accordance with a recent research a 45-minute music session just before nighttime is a better cure for insomnia than anything else.
- You get stressed less. When you listen to music, your cortisol levels get down and you calm down faster.
- And you also get less depressed. This can come especially useful for home care patients who spend a great deal of time on their own.
- Alzheimer’s and dementia patients benefit a lot from listening to music. Familiar tunes help to bring back memories and help a person to interact better with the world.
- The same can be said about Parkinson’s patients. There are a lot of studies that proved the benefit of music therapy for people with Parkinson’s.
Music that They Know
However, this is not about all music, the effect we are talking about comes from the music that is familiar to seniors – the one that they know well, the one that they cherish and that is closely tied to some sweet memories from the past, with positive experience and emotions. Numerous researches are devoted to this topic and all of them come to the same conclusion – choose the music of their youth for your seniors. That’s why next is the list of recommendations.
What to Play
Well, it’s a universal choice – most classics is soothing and helps with blood pressure and keeps stress at bay. However, make sure that yout elderly member doesn’t hate it.
Music for Mood Improvement
Here come all the old favorites that you can envision or recollect. Try to remember your senior’s choices, pick together – by adding a little bit of music into a daily routine such things as dressing and dining can become easier and more fun.
Something active that call on dancing is a good thing to try with dementia patients.
Best here is music from childhood, lullabies and nice folk music that can be sung along.
Instrumental and other soft background music is good for the periods when seniors get restless and extremely agitated, i.e. at dawn. Singing can also be nice as well as palying music instruments.
Where to Find
There are many resources where to get inspiration and music itself. Here are some of them.
Music for Seniors represents a project that for seniors that involves interaction of the former with various musicians. They offer various interactive music programs for any taste. There is a small fee for the participation that goes for covering the musicians’ performances; however, they also practice discounted fees and even free of charge attendance in some cases.
New Horizons Music Program (Orchestral Groups for Boomers and Seniors). New Horizons Music programs are where to start making your first steps in music, even if you are a senior. The programs accept everyone who is willing to participate, experienced or not. This is exactly the place to learn how to play, provided that the last time you touched an instrument was in junior school. Needless to say that with all the pros of music therapy mentioned above, seniors who play and not just listen, are likely to benefit even more.
Mezzo Muzique: Music for Seniors. A new project started by Preethi Fernando promises to be of great use for seniors. He has in mind a creation of an online boutique with music specifically collected and selected for the elderly. The project is going to offer free music download and at the present moment is on the stage of a finding collection, you can visit and help to make it happen.
Music and Memory promotes music therapy. It is a nonprofit organization that has carried our several projects for dementia seniors under special care. Their last project was based on accepting old and used MP3 players that were then filled in with good old-time music and given to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. The project was a huge success – you can have a look at the video with a senior man and his reaction to the music. You can also get a lot of useful information on their website.
Power Music can be used as a helpful massive music library with the aim to please the taste of any user; there is a good choice of music for seniors here either.
The latter resource is, certainly, not unique. You can also take a look at the following list offered by Daily Caring that is compiled by decades and the best artists and bands correspondingly.
- Judy Garland
- Hits of 30’s & 40’s
- Glenn Miller
- Benny Goodman
- Bing Crosby
- The Andrews Sisters
- Great Records Of The Decade: 40’s Hits
- Patti Page
- Dinah Shore
- Greatest Songs Of The 1940’s
- Doris Day
- Nat King Cole
- Tony Bennett
- 50’s Ultimate Rock & Roll Collection
- Connie Francis
- Chart Toppers: Romantic Hits Of The 50’s
- The Everly Brothers
- The Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr.
- Elvis Presley
- Aretha Franklin – 30 Greatest Hits
- The Beatles
- Simon & Garfunkel
- The Rolling Stones
- Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
- Charlie Parker
- Roy Orbison
- Louis Armstrong
- Top hits: Jazz
- Billie Holiday
- Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
- Miles Davis
- Ella Fitzgerald