Music with Seniors

hands-walking-stick-elderly-old-person.jpgMusic therapists offer services in skilled and intermediate care facilities, adult foster care homes, rehabilitation hospitals, residential care facilities, hospitals, adult day care centers, retirement facilities, senior centers, hospices, senior evaluation programs, psychiatric treatment centers, and other facilities. Music therapy treatment is efficacious and valid with older persons who have functional deficits in physical, psychological, cognitive or social functioning.  Music is a form of sensory stimulation, which provokes responses due to the familiarity, predictability, and feelings of security associated with it. Research results and clinical experiences attest to the viability of music therapy even in those who are resistive to other treatment approaches.

Music therapy provides opportunities for:

  • Memory recall which contributes to reminiscence and satisfaction with life
  • Positive changes in mood and emotional states
  • Sense of control over life through successful experiences
  • Awareness of self and environment which accompanies increased attention to music
  • Anxiety and stress reduction for older adult and caregiver
  • Nonpharmacological management of pain and discomfort
  • Stimulation which provokes interest even when no other approach is effective
  • Structure which promotes rhythmic and continuous movement or vocal fluency as an adjunct to physical rehabilitation
  • Emotional intimacy when spouses and families share creative music experiences
    Social interaction with caregivers and families

Why Music Therapy?

  • Music therapy reduces depression among older adults.
  • Music experiences can be structured to enhance social/emotional skills, to assist in
    recall and language skills and to decrease problem behaviors.
  • Music tasks can be used to assess cognitive ability in people with Alzheimer’s
    Disease.
  • Music is effective in decreasing the frequency of agitated and aggressive behaviors for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias.
  • Individuals in the late stages of dementia respond to and interact with music