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How Music Can Enhance a Senior’s Wellbeing

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Music is therapeutic in several ways. Depending on the type, it can ease symptoms of dementia, anxiety, lethargy, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, and Parkinson’s disease. Here’s how music can boost your senior loved one’s wellbeing.

Baroque Music Energizes

If your loved one is lethargic, play baroque music. Resembling classical music, this genre sparks creativity, elevates mood, and speeds the completion of tedious work. You’ll find lovely baroque compositions on YouTube. Look for pieces by Bach, Handel, Monteverdi, Purcell, and Corelli. Buoyant music stimulates the nervous system, revving circulation. As a result, your loved one becomes alert and motivated.

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to boost your loved one’s wellbeing. In Omaha, in-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Classical Pieces Hone Intellect

Classical music coordinates nerve signals between brain regions, aiding focus, perception, thinking, and recall. To enhance your loved one’s mental acuity, play music by classical composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Chopin.

Favorite songs evoke happy memories. Linked to daily activities, they can spur remembrance of how to do tasks. Even with dementia, music memory endures. For example, if your loved one formerly played music while making meals, repeating this habit may sustain his or her cooking skills. 

Try to provide several options for hearing music. Keep the radio tuned to an oldies station. If your loved one has a computer, find his or her favorite music on YouTube and bookmark the videos. Also, buy CDs of your loved one’s preferred music, along with a CD player. 

Marching Tunes Aid Mobility

Tunes with repeating patterns stimulate and coordinate muscle contractions. Marches, in particular, activate a brain pathway that regulates motion. 

When marches are played for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), the beats help them walk and speak better. Subconsciously, their bodies align with the rhythm, serving as cues to move. Hearing the beats also prevents muscle freezing. According to the American Parkinson Disease Association, hand tapping to rhythmic music enhances speech clarity.

For a senior loved one with PD, also play classical music. This genre enhances utilization of dopamine and serotonin, brain chemicals depleted by PD. A 2015 Finnish study found classical music enhances the effect of genes involved with metabolizing dopamine. As a result, learning and memory increase.

Singing tones the muscles used in breathing, swallowing, and speech. It also sustains voice strength and enhances posture. Therefore, this pastime is helpful for seniors with PD. These are the findings of a 2017 study by Iowa State University.

Cheery Music Soothes Pain

A 2014 Danish study found music tones down chronic pain, with lingering relief. The research involved 22 people with fibromyalgia, a debilitating condition of persistent muscle and joint aches. When the subjects listened to their preferred music, their pain became less discomforting. The analgesic effect was strong enough to increase functional ability, even after the music stopped.

Delightful tunes produce pain-relieving chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin. Therefore, favorite melodies can potentially decrease the reliance on pain medication.

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elder care. Omaha Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

Instrumental Melodies Calm

Soft, slow music induces relaxation. Especially soothing are instrumental music and acoustic compositions that include light piano, flute, or guitar. 

Play gentle music in the background to ease tasks that are difficult for your loved one. For example, you might tune the radio to relaxing instrumentals at bath time. To a doctor’s appointment, bring an MP3 player loaded with tranquil melodies. Your loved one can listen to the device with attached headphones. To aid falling asleep, play peaceful music just before bedtime. 

Cherished Songs Bring Joy

Favorite tunes trigger happy memories. For a loved one with dementia, recalling good times heightens mood and restores a sense of identity. Hearing preferred music also releases brain chemicals that prompt happiness. 

To increase your loved one’s enjoyment of holidays, play themed music from his or her youth. For a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, favorite music can ease agitation, anxiety, and aggression. 

Consider hiring a professional caregiver to boost your loved one’s wellbeing. If your senior loved one needs hourly or 24-hour care, Omaha Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. Contact us at (402) 261-5158 to learn more about our services and set up a free consultation.