Have you ever been completely captivated by a song or an artist, so much so that simply hearing them brings you back to a different time in your life and brings pause to your busy day and a smile to your face? This type of music therapy is excellent at making people happy and creating a sense of nostalgia; these feelings are especially important for seniors.
Choose the Right Music
The music that seniors enjoy will likely differ from today’s top hits, unless you happen to come across an extremely hip senior! When you are compiling music to play for seniors, do a little research and find songs from when they were in their teens and 20s. Drawing on past memories is an excellent way to keep a senior’s mind sharp. It’s absolutely amazing that someone can recall lyrics they learned over 60 years ago. Music has a way of bringing a smile to someone’s face even if they are known for not flashing their pearly whites very often.
For groups of seniors, conducting a sing along is a fun way to generate some happy participation. Choose simple songs that are easy to follow along with. The instructor should embellish the words by using actions or over-enunciating to give the seniors a helpful hand in remembering the next words if their memory fails slightly. Ever notice how everyone always sings happy birthday, no matter how tone deaf they may be, when birthday cake is being delivered? When hosting a sing along, remember that everyone should feel involved and welcome.
Bring some basic instruments to music time, exactly like you would do in a child’s music class to stimulate learning. Make up games to play using the instruments. Percussion instruments work best unless you have some musical talent in your midst. Percussion instruments are easy to pick up and get everyone involved. Keeping a beat helps eye-hand coordination sharp and also helps increasing social skills since you will need to communicate with your fellow musicians!
Quiet Music Time
Music therapy doesn’t have to be loud and boisterous. Sometimes the best calming therapy can be achieved while relaxing to some classical or instrumental music either alone or in a group. A beautiful piece of music can create a world of happiness and inner peace. It doesn’t have to be classical music in order to be relaxing. Jazz music has an upbeat bounce to it but also has the lulling melody to tame even the wildest senior of them all.
Listen to your loved one and give them what they want when it comes to music. There are many ways happiness can be achieved through music. Explore as many approaches as you can and you’ll hit the right notes.
To learn more about music therapy and other methods to keep the mind active and stimulated, get in touch with Qualicare Family Homecare at 613.366.2899.