When it comes to senior care, it can sometimes be tricky to think of new activities to do with older people. Naturally, all activities depend on the individual’s interests, but it can sometimes be limited, depending on mobility or other health concerns.
There is one element that almost every senior can enjoy, however. Music therapy for seniors is perfect for individuals who might not be able to move around easily. It also helps those who have low energy and prefer to stay indoors.
What are the benefits of music therapy for seniors?
Music therapy can range from anything as simple as listening to music with a seniors to encouraging them to try their hands at playing an instrument themselves, or even dancing along!
Music therapy can have a wide range of physical and mental health benefits, too. Some of these benefits of music therapy for seniors include:
- Improving memory, especially for seniors with cognitive impairment
- Improving social skills and encouraging seniors to bond
- Reducing pain through distraction
- Improving dexterity
- Installing motivation and reduce feelings of depression
Ideas for music therapy activities for seniors
Music is heavily connected to both mood and memory. But these associations often depend on the person. An individual, for instance, might associate one type of music with happy memories. And another might feel the opposite from hearing the same song.
The first step is to ask the senior in your care what kind of music they like. Next, choose songs that make them feel happy and uplifted.
If you’re especially trying to use music therapy to improve memory or to help individuals with dementia feel more comfortable, try to find music from a time they would like to remember. This could include music that played at their wedding, in their childhood, or another happy occasion.
From there, try and incorporate music therapy into the standard daily routine. If there are physical exercises to complete during the day, play music in the background. Otherwise, set aside time in the day for seniors to listen to the music.
If any seniors in your care have the mobility to do so, try bringing along a tambourine or drum for them to play along to with the music. The more interactive you can make it, the better!