Music therapy activity and the elderly is a topic that has been researched thoroughly. There are many uses for music therapy in the medical field, and a lot of those uses apply at least partially, if not strictly, to the elderly. Some of the more useful applications of music therapy activity and the elderly are in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, and general Geriatrics. But while these are the studies done solely on the elderly, there are other applications of music therapy that can apply to the elderly just as well as they apply to patients of other ages. For example, elderly patients with chronic pain, cancer, hearing impairment, or who have recently gone through a surgery or have lost a loved one can also benefit greatly from music therapy.
The most complete studies done on music therapy activity and the elderly have been done on Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s patients have tested higher in their cognitive abilities after being exposed to music therapy activity. While other kinds of therapy can also be applied to assist Alzheimer’s patients, only music activities quantitatively prove that there is a significant increase in the patient’s brain function.
Dementia is similar to Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, there is much more limited research as to the proven effects of music therapy activity and the elderly who suffer from Dementia. This is not to say, however, that music therapy activity does not work with elderly people who have Dementia. Many music therapists have witnessed great positive effects on patients and their caregivers who are exposed to music and music therapy on a regular basis. Because Dementia has similar symptoms as Alzheimer’s disease, especially cognitive dysfunctions including memory and recognition problems, some of the research on Alzheimer’s patients can be applied to Dementia patients.
Music therapy activity and the elderly have been studied not only for specific diseases, but also for the general geriatric healthcare. Music activities such as dancing can greatly improve the social habits and wellbeing of both general geriatric patients and those with Dementia. Creating social connections with another person through activities like dancing can bring out the liveliness in elderly people, and this will greatly improve their mood and overall happiness.
Much of the research on music therapy activity and the elderly patients it helps focused on the problem of agitation. For many geriatric patients, especially those with Dementia, agitation is one of the most difficult symptoms to control. However, using soft music can help quiet the agitated mind of geriatric patients, thus improving their mood and their health.