July 7 2017
Many independent living communities have activities galore for the residents to enjoy. Sometimes, you’ll even find a dance class or two for those who have the willingness to dance like no one’s watching. Have you ever noticed that some of the residents at the independent living center will sit and listen to the music, even if they don’t get up and dance? It all has to do with the power of music.
Music has been around since the beginning of time; ancient drumbeat rhythms, melodic chanting of the monks, and strings and things that make a full song. Music has the power to remind us of people, places, and events that have happened in our lives. Those who are in romantic relationships choose their song, and those who have just gotten out of romantic relationships listen to every sad song on the dial to soak in the heartbreak.
Music fills celebrations from birthday parties to weddings, and music sets the somber tone at funerals. You can see bands at festivals, stadiums, bars, and grand openings. Sporting events all begin with music when someone sings the national anthem. Even stores, offices, and elevators have some genre of music that can be heard upon entry.
The Power Of Music
Music has the power to bring the listener to new levels in biological ways. In fact, when people listen intently to a piece of music, their biological rhythms can become synchronized to the music. This can put people in a more relaxed state which can improve both mental and physical functioning. When it comes to music and older adults, therapists use music to help those with many different ailments.
• Those who struggle with memory loss find it easier to recall a melody than to remember an event or a name. Certain musical pieces can help them recall things that were long lost.
• Studies show that people who have had a stroke and struggle to regain speech have found success when listening to music. Not only did it help bring back their words, but the music calmed them and lifted their spirits.
• There have been many studies that show how music helps those with Parkinson’s disease to regain partial functioning through better movement. Again, the music improved feelings of overall happiness.
• People who suffer from stress and anxiety before and after a surgical procedure have been shown to relax better when listening to classical music. In fact, the music worked better than common anti-anxiety medications in many cases.
If your independent living facility doesn’t offer music time, it can’t hurt to make a suggestion that they start. Otherwise, you can do your own forms of music therapy. Find your favorites, sit back, and listen to your heart’s content. You never know what memories you’ll find.