Music Therapy for Older Adults
Music therapy is concerned with maximising quality of life in older adults. Particular attention is given to the development, restoration and/or maintenance of skills to support the person in attaining their highest possible level of functioning. Music therapy is concerned with helping the person to maintain or establish a sense of control within his/her environment.
Music therapy can:
- stimulate social interaction
- reduce agitation and wandering
- increase participation
- provide stimulation
- support memory skills
- support reality orientation and reminiscence
- improve mood and emotional wellbeing
- reduce feelings of isolation
- reduce feelings of pain
- promote and maintain communication skills
- promote and maintain physical skills
Music therapy can also help caregivers
- reduce their own stress and anxiety
- re-establish/maintain positive relationships with their family member
Music therapy has been found to be effective for older adults who have suffered from a stroke, mental illness, and/or dementia. Research has found music therapy is one of the few activities which people in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, can participate in.
What does a music therapist do?
Similar to other Allied Health Professionals, music therapists follow a procedure of referral, assessment, goal setting, intervention and evaluation. This makes them different to musicians who provide music for entertainment.
Music therapists see clients both individually and/or within groups.
Music therapy sessions can consist of a range of activities, including:
- listening to music,
- moving/dancing to music
- singing familiar songs
- song writing,
- instrument playing
- reminiscing/life reviewing
Previous musical experience?
No prior musical experience is needed in order to benefit from music therapy.