Music is powerful. It can make you feel emotions, connect with others or relive a fond memory. Hearing your favorite song can instantly transport you to another place in time, almost as if by magic. But did you know that listening to music has actual physical, mental and emotional health benefits?
Experts refer to this as music therapy, and it can be a valuable tool, particularly for seniors. Whether you connect with a licensed music therapist or simply look for the music in your daily life, music can boost your mood and improve your health. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of music therapy for older adults.
You know that feeling when your favorite song comes on the radio? It feels like an instant mood booster – because it is! According to VeryWell Health, music therapy is “therapeutic approach that uses naturally mood-lifting properties of music.”
There are two main types of music therapy: active and receptive. With active music therapy, you are taking part in the music itself. This might look like dancing, singing or even playing an instrument. With passive music therapy, you take the role of the audience. Participating in this type of music therapy could consist of listening to a pre-recorded track or attending a live concert. Whichever you choose, both types of therapy have positive affects on the body and mind.
Countless studies have shown that music therapy can make a real difference when used properly. Benefits include helping to manage stress, enhance memory, improve communication skills and engage the mind. It can also assist in releasing endorphins and promote feelings of calm. Some studies have even suggested that music therapy for older adults may be effective for treating dementia and Alzheimer’s.
In addition, music is a great tool for physical health when you move or even walk along to the rhythm. It can benefit your coordination and flexibility and assist you in building muscle strength. Even just breathing rhythmically along with music has benefits of its own, such as helping you relieve tension in your body, which in turn improves your mood.
If you’re interested in receiving music therapy, look online for a licensed therapist in your area. Many work in locations such as hospitals, schools and senior programs. You may even be able to find someone who can meet with you virtually over video chat. The American Music Therapy Association has provided an online directory to help those interested find a licensed music therapist.
If you don’t want to meet with a therapist, however, you can still receive some of the great benefits of music therapy. Music is widely available, free in many forms and accessible to everyone. To get some of the mood-boosting effects of music, put on your favorite song, attend a local concert or join a choir in your area. Dance along to the radio. Sit down at the piano, even if you’re out of practice. You might just find that the music changes your mood for the better.
Advent Christian Village is a senior living community filled with music. From classes to choirs, we even host a popular concert series called Live! At Dowling Park each year. Not only are these great opportunities for our community members to connect with others, it allows them to receive all of the great benefits music has to offer.
Interested in learning more about life at Advent Christian Village? We’d love to give you a tour. Call 1-800-647-3353 today or click here to get in touch with our friendly team. We look forward to sharing our community with you!