5 Benefits of Music Therapy for seniors
What is music therapy? Is it jiving to your favourite radio station, or joining your local choir? Whilst all those things are great and can definitely lift your mood – music therapy is, in fact, a research-based practice whereby professionals, qualified in music therapy, draw on extensive research to incorporate a range of music-making methods within a therapeutic relationship. Music therapy has a focus on health, functioning and wellbeing (Australian Music Therapy Association).
Here are our top five ways we believe seniors benefit from music therapy:
Using, for example, dance and movement set to music, music therapy aims to stimulate the endorphins produced by your brain’s central nervous system and pituitary gland. These neurons are our bodies natural painkillers AND they boost your mood, resulting in a stress relieving, joyful, and sometimes healing moment for those partaking.
Dance therapy is a great way to strengthen your muscles and increase your fitness. Dance therapy also incorporates stretching and deep breathing – both of which help your gross motor skills. As we age coordination, flexibility and balance become so important to reducing your chances of injury.
Just hearing a song from our childhood or past can trigger memories in just a matter of seconds, instantly affecting your mood. Music therapy has also been known to awaken parts of the brain in some people suffering from Dementia.
Dance therapy is a great way to express emotions that are sometimes not easily expressed verbally. Even participants with limited mobility are able to express themselves through their own abilities.
By promoting a positive and encouraging environment, music therapy has been shown to increase a person’s confidence, self-esteem and social skills.
“Experience has shown us the vast benefits of music therapy for seniors, particularly those suffering the symptoms of Dementia, making it an important part of our holistic approach to lifestyle and wellbeing programs”, said Jane Meldrum Lifestyle Co-ordinator Anglican Care.
Contact us to find out more about how we use music therapy at Anglican Care.