Music can stir emotions, bring people together, and help them remember fond memories. For seniors, it may do even more. Research and anecdotal proof show that music can significantly impact how older people feel, how healthy they are overall, and how well they sleep. Keep reading to learn about the exciting ways that music can improve the lives of seniors and the kinds of music that work best for these purposes. With this knowledge, loved ones and the home care team can use music to help seniors in various ways.
Tunes That Make People Feel Better
Music is a common language that can make seniors feel happy and lift their spirits. Seniors often deal with problems like loneliness, depression, and worry, which can be helped by the right music. For instance, Dopamine – the “feel-good” hormone, is released when they hear happy, upbeat music, helping them move past sadder feelings. At the same time, music with a nostalgic connection might be meaningful to seniors because it reminds them of fond memories. Also, familiar melodies can make people feel nostalgic, closing the gap between the past and the present and helping them connect to their own history.
Music can also reduce stress, which is bad for health in general. The stress hormone cortisol can be lowered by listening to relaxing and soothing music. The home care team and loved ones can work with seniors to create a calm atmosphere with soft classical music, acoustic instrumentals, or sounds of nature. This might be especially helpful for their nighttime routine.
Harmonies For Health and Healing
In addition to helping seniors feel better, music can also impact their functioning and reactions to issues such as chronic pain. Consider the following:
Cognitive Stimulation: Listening to music is thought to help the brain function better, improve memory, and provide better focus. Music with complicated rhythms is considered best as it allows for the type of mental exercise to help seniors keep their minds sharp, slowing down cognitive decline.
Dealing With Chronic Pain: Seniors often have pain problems that don’t go away. Music therapy has been shown to lessen pain by taking the mind off of it and causing the body’s natural painkillers, called endorphins, to be released.
The Melody for a Good Night’s Sleep
A consistent nighttime routine that incorporates calming music in a peaceful space was mentioned above, but it deserves a bit more attention. As the years pass, getting a full night’s sleep is often more challenging. However, with the right music played right before bed, heart rate and blood pressure might be lowered, making it easier to fall asleep. For this, songs with a slow pace, between 60 and 80 beats per minute, work best. In addition, ambient music or binaural beats can help with awareness and meditation. These techniques help seniors think more clearly, stop their minds from racing, and improve peace overall.
Consistency is the key to getting better sleep. Listening to relaxing music every night before bed sends the brain a message that it’s time to wind down. The home care team can help provide this consistency and help seniors find the right beats.
Music isn’t just more than entertainment. It’s also a therapy tool that can make a big difference in the lives of older adults. Through its power, loved ones and the home care team can give seniors the support they need.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Skokie, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.
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