As we age, our brains and bodies go through a lot of changes. While many people are aware that regular exercise and a healthy diet play an important role in promoting healthy aging, a good number may not know that music can be a powerful form of medicine. Musical activities can go a long way in slowing down some age-related changes and improving your overall health. But how exactly can playing or listening to music help your overall well-being?
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1. Improves Memory
This is one of the most notable benefits of music for seniors. Your brain is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. Playing or listening to music provides a total brain workout. As such, infusing music into your everyday life as you age can help boost your mental fitness.
Playing a musical instrument engages almost every part of the brain and requires mental coordination. Similarly, listening to certain songs can evoke emotions or elicit specific memories. By stimulating the brain, music helps to improve processing speed, short-term memory, and long-term memory.
2. Improves Mood
Apart from experiencing mood changes, older adults can easily get isolated. That can have a huge impact on emotional health. However, music can help reduce that. Music can help to improve your mood and enable you to maintain better mental and emotional balance.
Playing and listening to your favorite songs will help lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and stimulate the release of dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel good. Calm music can also soothe you when you feel agitated. Lastly, specific songs can bring back positive emotions and memories that will elevate your mood.
3. Increases Mobility and Coordination
It is normal for older adults to have decreased mobility. One of the benefits of music is that it can help to increase your mobility and coordination. This will improve your physical health and enhance your ability to do everyday activities.
Playing certain musical instruments requires you to use your hands and fingers. Also, apart from making you want to dance, a good song can provide motivation for various types of exercise such as walking, jogging, and stretching. These activities can contribute to increased strength and flexibility. Lastly, playing music in a group setting presents opportunities for more social interaction, effectively enhancing your overall sense of wellness.
4. Improves Cognitive Abilities
Music is a powerful tool that can improve cognitive skills and abilities in seniors. Listening to music, singing along to a song, or playing a musical instrument will help you remain mentally active and increase the resilience of your brain. This will play a big role in preventing or slowing down the onset of cognitive impairment.
Moorings Park® Communities, with its three beautiful campuses, is widely known as the premier provider of active retirement living in Southwest Florida. With a wide variety of luxurious residences and engaging social activities, you’ll also have opportunities to join our choir, connect with our music therapist, and enjoy live music at cocktail parties and at our Bower Chapel Concert Series. Contact us today for more information.