One of the senior care services in Castle Rock, CO that we offer is weekly music therapy. While this may seem like an enjoyable pastime to some, music therapy actually offers many scientific benefits for the aging brain. Humans have been using music since the earliest recorded history for its therapeutic powers – and modern use of music as therapy dates back to the first World War. So what it is about music that can help senior citizens? Here’s what you need to know.
Music Engages the Entire Brain
As we age, diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s can make it difficult for all parts of the brain to be used and engaged on a regular basis. But because of the way that music engages us physically, mentally, and emotionally, listening to it and making it actually engages every part of the brain. Motor skills and movement, either from dance or playing music, mean that the motor areas of the brain are engaged. The limbic system, which controls our emotional reactions and decision making, is engaged due to the way we associate music with feeling. And finally, the auditory cortex, which is part of the rational frontal cortex of the brain, is engaged because we are hearing the music.
Music Helps Relieve Pain
Another way that music can help seniors is by helping to increase pain tolerance. Listening to pleasing sounds causes endorphins to be released in our brains, which gives us a physical sense of pleasure. That in turn helps to reduce feelings of pain, or at least make them more tolerable. This can help relieve stress and even combat depression as well.
That’s Not All
Other ways that music can help seniors include:
- Enhances memory ability
- Improves the brain’s ability to organize information
- Helps to build longer attention spans
- Helps to promote vocalizing
- Makes it easier to socialize and communicate
- Helps to diminish feelings of apathy
At Country Home Assisted Living, we use music therapy every week in both a passive sense (listening to music) and an active sense (encouraging seniors to play music, or move to it). This has been shown to help seniors maintain motor skills and simply feel better overall. If you are interested in learning more about our senior care services in Castle Rock, CO, and how we use therapies like music therapy every week, please contact us by calling 303-840-1986.