How Music Help Alleviate Your Senior’s Stress
November 11, 2021
Seniors can experience increased stress as they age, caused by changes in circumstance, loneliness and loss of capability and function. One way to alleviate stress in your senior’s life is through music. Music has many encouraging effects on people of all ages by stimulating dopamine release. This can heighten positive emotions and mood, and relieve stress
Elder care prioritizes your senior’s mental and emotional health by providing positive stimuli to help them relax and relieve stress.
How Does Music Alleviate Stress in Seniors?
There are three components of your senior’s health: physical, mental and emotional. Music can positively impact all three, by alleviating stress, increasing physical function and stimulating energy and mood.
Here are some benefits of listening to music for your loved one.
Reduces stress and anxiety. Listening to music can lower heart rate and blood pressure, as well as decreasing levels of cortisol. Allowing your senior to listen to calming music can also soothe nervousness and promote social interaction, which is often missing in senior’s day-to-day lives. Music can also stimulate nostalgia, which can reduce stress and remind your senior of their youth.
Increases cognitive function. Music can help keep your senior’s brain engaged and active; in doing so, regularly listening to music has been shown to improve memory and mental alertness, as well as relieving boredom.
Improves sleep quality. A lot of stress in seniors stems from reduced or interrupted sleep patterns. Listening to music during the day and before bed can help your senior fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and wake up feeling refreshed.
Increases physical performance. Music has been shown to positively correlate with motivation and physical activity in seniors. Not only does it stimulate desire, but it increases the endurance of your senior during physical activity by reducing heart rate, fatigue and providing endorphins that contribute to increased exercise output.
Reduces pain. Increased pain levels often correlate with increased cortisol, which in turn boosts stress levels, heart rate and blood pressure in your senior. By providing regular, calming music, your senior can experience reduced or eliminated pain symptoms.
How Can I Incorporate Music into My Senior’s Life?
Seniors experience stress in different ways, and often what works for one will cause heightened anxiety in another. It’s important to understand your loved one’s needs, and incorporate music in a way that is meaningful and helpful.
Here are some ways that music can be used to alleviate stress in your loved one’s life.
Increase social interaction. Music is often part of a social occasion and can stimulate conversation and interaction for your senior. Talk to them about their favorite songs and artists, or reach out to other seniors in your area to
Make listening to music a regular part of their day. Music doesn’t always have to be actively listened to. By playing music in the background, your senior can enjoy the benefits whilst completing their daily tasks.
Choose music that suits them. While the idea of playing music from the 1940s and 1950s may seem appropriate, many seniors today grew up in the 70s and 80s and don’t enjoy or know the music from eras before. Choosing music from your senior’s youth can bring back memories, provide distraction and stimulate positive mood and emotional changes.
Easy Access. With many music services moving online, many seniors can’t access the music they like due to a lack of knowledge or understanding of modern streaming or music technology. Introduce your senior to services such as Spotify or Apple Music so that they can find music that they like to listen to at the touch of a button.
Provide Headphones. Sometimes your senior may want to enjoy their music by themselves as a way of visiting the past. Providing quality headphones to your senior can block out external distractions so that they can listen to their favorite songs on their own. Headphones can also be used in combination with exercise for increased stimulation and enjoyment.
There are many ways that music can be used to alleviate stress in your senior’s life. An elder care specialist can ease the burden on your senior by providing positive, meaningful stimuli through personalized music and conversation about what matters to them.
Elder care can help your senior with everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing. Contact us to learn more about our services today!
If you or your loved one is looking for Elder Care in Menlo Park, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.
Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990
San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777
Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990