Playing music, singing, and listening to music positively affect the cognitive, physical and emotional health, and social well-being of seniors and others. Here are some of the remarkable benefits of music:
- Decreases anxiety and soothes pain. Dentists and doctors report that patients who listen to mellow music before, during and after surgery and medical procedures report less pain and anxiety and require less sedative medication.
- Reduces stress. Listening to and playing music significantly lowers the stress hormone cortisol, which also is known for weight gain.
- Lowers blood pressure and boosts heart health. In a university medical study, the diameter of blood vessels expanded by 26 percent when a person listened to happy music and constricted by 6 percent when a person listened to anxiety-triggering music.
- Boosts the immune system. Music is shown to increase helpful antibodies, particularly immunoglobulin A, and support cells that attack bacteria and germs invading the body.
- Lifts mood and decreases depression. Both singing and listening to music increase endorphins, which boost feelings of happiness and pleasure.
- Aids memory. Listening to music triggers the release of the brain’s neurotransmitter, dopamine, which aids cognition, voluntary movement, working memory and sleep.
- Assists the aging brain. Neuropsychology research shows that people with the most musical training in their lives exhibited the best mental sharpness and scored higher on brain function tests.
Whether they prefer Celtic, classical, folk or rock, music can help senior loved ones recover from illness or injury, improve their mood and recall past events. The benefits to the elderly are as numerous as the types of music!
How does music help you or your aging loved one?