music therapy

How Music Therapy Can Help Your Senior Loved One

Have you noticed signs of isolation or depression in your aging loved one? It’s not unusual —the National Council on Aging states that 1-5% of older adults living in the general community, 11.5% of older adults who are hospitalized, and 13.5% of older adults who require home health care suffer from depression. Additionally, depression is especially common during the winter months due to reduced sunlight and activity. If your parent is showing signs of depression, have you ever thought about using music therapy to help them?

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is provided by a credentialed professional who uses music intervention to achieve specific goals. These goals can be to:

  • Promote Wellness
  • Manage Stress
  • Alleviate Pain
  • Express Feelings
  • Enhance Memory
  • Improve Communication
  • Promote Physical Rehabilitation
  • and more

The History of Music Therapy

Music has been used as a form of therapy for decades. The earliest written reference to it was in Columbian Magazine in 1789. In the early 1800s, the therapeutic value of music appeared in two medical dissertations, the first published by Edwin Atlee (1804) and the second by Samuel Mathews (1806). It wasn’t until 1904 that it was an organized clinical profession; then, in 1998, The American Music Therapy Association was created. 

Music Therapy and the Elderly

Did you know that the work setting with the highest number of music therapists is in geriatric facilities? This includes:

  • Adult daycares facilities
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Geriatric, non-nursing facilities
  • Geriatric psychiatric units

Music is a proven therapy to improve the following memory disorders, yet is not limited to helping just these:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Vascular dementia 
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies 
  • Frontotemporal dementia 
  • Dementia caused by injury 
  • Mild cognitive impairment

One of the greatest benefits of using this form of therapy is that it relies on individual strengths, needs, cognitive abilities, and behaviors. It is also a great option for anyone, with or without memory impairment. 

As an in-home care company, we understand the benefit that listening to music can have on our clients. Our caregivers often talk about music with their clients and will put on their favorite music to help uplift their spirits. It’s just one more way that we bring light to their day!

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