For many people, music is an important part of life. It’s entertaining to listen to and can make even the most boring of tasks more enjoyable. In addition, music can be soothing and invoke emotions, including joy. Now, a new report suggests that music can have a powerful effect on the brain.
AARP conducted a survey earlier this year involving more than 3,100 people. Those who included music in their lives rated their quality of life as either very good or excellent. They also said they had less anxiety or depression.
There are several reasons that music might improve the overall happiness of an older adult. Some of those reasons are:
More Social Interaction
People who enjoy music often seek out ways to enjoy it live or even play music themselves. Or, they might join a choir. This brings them in contact with other people. They might form friendships because of joining a musical group or simply have more chances to chat with people they meet at concerts.
Music Encourages Movement
Music can be an excellent motivator for exercise. Playing music for your aging relative while they exercise can make the activity more pleasant. An upbeat tune can encourage them to pick up the pace of a walk. Or, if the senior likes to dance, dancing to a favorite tune can be great exercise.
Music Lessens Stress
Stress can be a savage beast, and music can help to soothe it. Studies show that when people listen to relaxing music, they are less likely to be negatively impacted by stressful events.
Music Reduces Pain
Older adults who suffer from chronic pain may be able to reduce the pain by regularly listening to music. Studies have indicated that people with fibromyalgia, a condition that causes chronic pain, felt better when they listened to music for at least one hour per day.
A home care provider can help to make music a part of your older family member’s regular routine. Home care providers can turn music on in the morning while the older adult is getting ready for the day and having breakfast. If the senior enjoys dancing, a home care provider could dance around the living room with them, helping them to enjoy the music while also getting some exercise. Or, when the older adult seems to feel agitated or nervous, the home care provider can play soothing music to calm them.