Guitar player playing his music.

Senior Living Amenities: How Does Live Music Benefit Seniors?

Humans have been listening to and playing music for thousands of years. Research indicates that humans who lived 40,000 years ago were creating musical instruments, such as flutes made of bones and mammoth ivory. Fast forward and our passion and love for music remain central to our lives today. Music is important to people of every age group. Even in the womb, babies can benefit from listening to music, including when it comes to early brain development. Music is also valuable for seniors, including those who live in independent and assisted living environments. In this blog post, we will highlight the benefits of live music, one of the most popular and important senior living amenities. These benefits include improved physical health and memory, reduced stress, and more. Let’s get started with this guide to the benefits of listening to live music for seniors.

Aids Physical Health

One of the most important things that an older adult can do for their overall health is to exercise regularly. Doing so helps to delay many of the health problems that come with age and helps muscles grow stronger, supporting greater independence. According to the CDC, adults aged 65 years and older need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. This can include activities such as brisk walking, jogging, or even dancing. Dancing, walking, or stretching to music comes with a host of health benefits for seniors. It helps with heart and cardiovascular health, bone density, muscle strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance. With live music, it is easy to be active to the level you are comfortable with. Research also shows that blood flows more easily when music is played and can help to lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and increase serotonin levels. While many people find exercises such as jogging boring or tiresome, dancing is always fun, especially when listening to live music in the company of friends. Listening to music while working out is also beneficial, given that it can increase workout endurance and boost physical performance.

Supports Memory

Music has the incredible ability to evoke memories and emotions, even those long forgotten. It’s amazing how a song or a piece of music can cause us to remember a person, place, or moment in time clearly in our minds. This is particularly true in the case of people with age-related memory issues such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Music has the power to bring back memories as well as improve cognitive processing speed and slow age-related cognitive function. In the case of people with age-related memory issues who struggle to remember current events, music helps to bring back pleasant memories and serves to boost their mood.

Psychological Benefits

Music enhances our mood. While this is a statement that almost everyone can agree on, it’s also backed by scientific research. Studies show that music—even sad music—can lift a person’s mood, while also helping to reduce anxiety and boost happiness. Music therapy programs, including those which involve live music, help alleviate pain, enhance memory, and manage stress. Listening to music boosts the brain’s production of the hormone dopamine, which helps to relieve feelings of depression and anxiety. The amygdala, the part of the brain that is involved in emotions and mood, is where music is directly processed, which makes the link between mood and music easy to understand.

Reduces Stress

Music has the incredible power to reduce stress. Stress can have a big impact on a person’s well-being, regardless of what age they are. For older adults, some of the warning signs of stress include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Stomach upset
  • Fatigue (both mental and physical)
  • Insomnia/sleep problems
  • Change in appetite

The impact of music on our mood depends on the type of music we listen to. For example, faster music generally makes us feel more alert, and upbeat music tends to promote feelings of optimism and positivity. Slower tempo music, on the other hand, helps to relax the body and mind. Listening to live music at any age, including when living in a senior living environment, is a great “release” from stress. It’s a way to relax and enjoy the moment.

Includes a Social Element

Research shows that loneliness is prevalent among older adults. According to one study, one in four adults over the age of 60 years report feeling lonely, with this number increasing to 1 in 3 for adults over the age of 75 years. Undoubtedly one of the benefits of live music for seniors is that it is a social activity enjoyed in the presence of others. Music, for thousands of years, has helped to bring people together. Social activities such as listening to live music help to bring older adults together and manage feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Senior Living Amenities: The Benefits of Live Music

The bottom line is that live music is enormously beneficial to people of all ages, including older adults, such as those living in assisted and independent living environments. Here at Alura Senior Living in Rockledge, FL, we have a wide range of social activities and amenities for our residents, including live music for seniors. We offer a range of different care levels, including independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Our luxury, resort-style living is state-of-the-art and offers a wonderful quality of living. If you are interested in learning more about our live music activities or about moving to a senior living community, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team.

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