Investigating the Role of Music Therapy for Residents in Assisted Living Communities
June 03, 2023
Music has long been known to possess powerful emotional and therapeutic qualities, and these qualities are being used with greater frequency in assisted living communities. Music therapy is an evidence-based form of therapy that uses music and its various elements such as melody, rhythm, tempo, and structure to promote physical, cognitive, emotional, and social well-being of seniors living in assisted living communities.
When used correctly, music therapy has been shown to have significant positive effects on seniors with dementia, depression, physical illness, and other chronic conditions. Music therapy can improve mood, reduce anxiety and stress, improve cognitive functioning, and increase social interaction. Music therapy can also be used to help seniors with communication, memory recall, motor control, and motor planning.
Music therapy is used in various settings such as one-on-one sessions, group sessions, and family sessions. It can involve a wide range of activities such as:
- Active music making
- Passively listening to music
- Engaging in non-musical activities such as singing and dancing
In one-on-one sessions, a music therapist works with an individual senior to discuss their needs, goals, and challenges. The music therapist then creates a session tailored to the individual to help address the challenges, and provide therapeutic benefits. In a group session, the music therapist may lead the group in activities such as singing, playing instruments, or creating stories and songs together.
In assisted living communities, music therapy can be used to improve the overall quality of life for the residents. Music therapy can help seniors to stay mentally and physically active, enhance their ability to vocalize, improve their communication skills, and experience social and emotional connectedness. Music therapy is also helpful in easing the transition to assisted living, as music can provide comfort and familiarity in an unfamiliar environment.
When investigating music therapy for assisted living communities, it is important to consider the qualifications and training of the music therapist. Music therapists must be certified, and have knowledge of music, communication, and therapeutic strategies. It is also important to consider the needs and preferences of the residents, and the resources available at the facility. Music therapy is a powerful tool for both leisure and therapeutic activities, and can be extremely beneficial for seniors living in assisted living communities.