Music Can Provide These Physical and Mental Health Benefits For Seniors
by Karen Weeks
Many seniors face several different challenges as they get older, from cognitive decline to the loss of mobility. These physical and mental health issues can leave older adults feeling depressed, lonely, or anxious, which can in turn lead to a lower quality of life.
When it comes to combating these feelings, incorporating music into your daily routine can make a major difference in how you feel, and it can even help you socialize more while supporting the local arts, such as with the Music In Corrales series. If you’re ready to take a more active role in music, read on.
The Benefits of Music
Music does much more than just provide entertainment; it can also help you relax, prevent blood pressure from rising, and boost your memory. One study published in 2014 showed that music not only enhances short-term memory in seniors, but it can also bring back a previously lost memory, making it a powerful tool for older adults who have experienced cognitive issues.
Immerse Yourself in Music
In addition to helping you stay sharp, learning something new can boost your self-esteem, and having a hobby allows you to fill your time with an activity you truly enjoy. If you’ve always wanted to learn more about blues, rock, classical music or even just the history of music, there are several resources available online. Actively engaging in playing an instrument can be even more beneficial. So if you’ve always wanted to learn the piano, now’s the time to try it!
Music can be extremely motivating when it’s time to workout, and staying fit is beneficial for preventing illness and boosting mobility. Try making a playlist of upbeat tunes you can get moving to on a streaming service; these can be played through a smartphone on the go or through your laptop at home. You can also look for soothing songs to play during a cooldown session or while you’re practicing yoga.
Use music as therapy
Because music can be such a calming influence, you can easily use it to alter your mood on bad days. The right songs help individuals who are suffering from depression, anxiety, and stress, so think about the type of music you’ve always enjoyed, and make it a part of your daily routine. From opera to rock-and-roll, making your favorite songs a frequent part of your day can help to elevate your mood.
Use technology to your advantage
These days, there are many different types of technology that can assist with music appreciation and lessons. To make the most of these resources, you’ll need a working computer or tablet. If you’re using an older laptop that runs slowly or regularly crashes, consider upgrading to a new model that has more speed and storage. You can find a variety of price points online, and sales and discounts make it easier to stay within your budget. Don’t forget to compare prices for a nice pair of headphones too so you can enjoy your music lessons without disturbing others in the house.
When spending more time on your computer, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with online safety and common cybersecurity concerns. Protecting your devices and your passwords is crucial, so stay alert and update passwords regularly.
The benefits of music have been studied for years in people of all ages, and for seniors who are living with a mood disorder or physical health issues, the positive effects can almost be measured. With so much technology at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to enjoy our favorite songs from just about any era or genre or to learn to play an instrument like a pro.
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