Balanced Care Wellbeing

How Music Can Support Mental Health in Aging

Music is one of those things that everyone at any age can enjoy. Depending on what kind of music you’re listening to, it can make you feel relaxed, happy, excited, or sad. Did you know it also has the ability to evoke memories? By taking you back to a different place and time, music can really help us bring back memories. 

All these characteristics make music especially important to us as we age. It is important to keep our mind active and stimulated as we age, to help our brains stay powerful through the golden years. Whether you’re a senior, or you’re providing in-home care for a loved one, here are some of the benefits of music.

How Music Can Support Mental Health in Aging

Benefits of Music for In Home Care

  • Mood Booster

Let’s face it, listening to music just feels good. Most music that seniors enjoy is music that they remember from their youth or young adulthood. When you are with a senior, try to play songs that they would have known or loved from their younger years.

When you play the right tune, it has a real effect on seniors. It can improve their mood and lift their spirits. They might even be tempted to sing along or dance, improving their mood even more! 

  • Stimulates the Mind

Not only is music a great way to lift your mood, but playing the right kind of music for a senior loved one can bring back memories and stimulate the mind. 

When you play music for a senior, try playing a song or picking an artist that they would recognize from their young adult years. All seniors can benefit from remembering their favorite song, especially those whose memory and cognitive skills are faltering. Though someone with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other conditions may not dance or sing to a song they love, they can still recognize it and feel good when it comes on.

Playing music is another excellent way to keep your mind sharp. If you have a senior loved one who played a musical instrument in the past, encourage them to play, even if it’s a simple song, or only a few notes. If your loved ones don’t play an instrument, you can also try playing one for them yourself! Even executing a simple song on a piano or guitar is good for the brain. 

Whether you have musical history or not, there’s always an opportunity to give it a try. Learning an instrument can be helpful to you and your own cognitive function, as well as bring joy to the seniors you care for. 

  • Music Calms

If you’re providing in-home care for a loved one with dementia, you should know that music can be especially calming. Just like music can make you feel happy, sad, or excited, music has the ability to soothe stressful situations. 

If you care for a senior with dementia, consider having some calming music on hand and ready to go, so it’s ready when you need it.

Like mentioned previously, calming music can help your loved one connect people and events from their past, giving them a feeling of ease. Even if seniors with dementia don’t recognize you or a loved one, they can still recognize that feeling of serenity and comfort.

  • Inspiration to Move

Exercise is helpful at all ages, and can help our bodies stay in healthy shape. As we age, staying in shape is more important than ever, as it promotes healthy longevity. If you or a senior loved one has a hard time motivating to work out, music might be the right answer you need.

No matter who you are, you can appreciate music’s ability to get your body in motion. When working out, try playing some high-energy music, to provide that extra motivation. You can also consider buying earbuds, to add some extra perk to your morning walk.

And don’t forget, the inspiration to move can come anytime of the day, not just during your allotted workout time. If music comes on and the urge to dance comes, there is nothing wrong with that. Dancing is another great way to get your heart rate up without the need for a gym or going for a jog. Use that musical motivation to move around, wherever you or your elderly loved one may be. 

How Music Can Support Mental Health in Aging

Incorporate More Music into the Day

It is clear that music has the power to help us in our daily lives! So if you are the sibling helping a parent with in-home care, we encourage you to keep the music playing in the home, and to keep music alive however you can. 

Investigate the local events schedules to see if there is a concert they might enjoy, or — if you’re a musician — play a concert for your senior loved one in their house. You may also consider signing your loved one up with a music service and then assemble some playlists just for them. Anything you can do to make your loved one’s household a musical one can dramatically improve their quality of life in so many ways.

If you have any questions or would like some help with your family’s in home care needs, contact the experts at Home Care Assistance of Dayton, OH, today.

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