Elderly Care: Using Music for Therapy

music therapy eldersMusic has the power to act as therapy for people with special needs of all ages and abilities. With more than 6,000 music therapists currently operating in the United States (certified through the American Music Therapy Association), you should be able to find someone in your area if you believe music may help your aging loved one’s condition.

So what’s music therapy used for? Well, just about everything. Health workers currently use music to treat a wide range of conditions — from depression, brain injury and Huntington’s disease to Parkinson’s disease, stroke and cardiac disease, according to the AARP. It’s even being used for pain management during cancer treatments.

Even so, you don’t have to be a health care professional to reap the benefits of music. Below are a few tips on incorporating music into your everyday life from veteran music therapist Amy Goyer via the AARP caregiving blog.

  • Keep a CD or mp3 player nearby your loved one’s favorite spot to sit outside. This can turn solitary time into a relaxing and stimulating experience as your mother enjoys her favorite tunes — from big band swing to classical to contemporary favorites.
  • Watch a lot of musicals. Not only are the plots easier to follow, as Goyer notes, you can even get up and dance and sing along with your loved one.
  • Try mixing music and physical activity. Take a walk with your elderly father and sing songs he remembers (you might be amazed at what he does). Goyer calls this “a golden combination for brain stimulation.”

Of course, caregivers can benefit from a little music therapy as well. When you need to unwind, listen to music to help you calm down and relax.

If you’d like to learn more, you can join Goyer for an online webchat on Tuesday, March 19 from 3 to 4 p.m. ET.

Encompass Senior Solutions currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today for help with your senior care needs.

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“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”