How Music and Art Can Benefit Seniors
While studies have shown many benefits of art and music for people of all ages — from improved academic performance for students to healing effects for adults — the positive impact of music and art for seniors is especially powerful. As we’ll explore in this blog post, they enable older adults to connect, express themselves, and stimulate their brains, even when other methods are no longer available.
And as anyone who has ever had a favorite song can attest to, one of the greatest benefits of art and music is that it just makes you feel good! Find even more benefits of art and music for seniors below.
Listening to Music Matters
We’ve all had the experience of hearing a song and feeling transported back to a different time and place we connect with that music. But why does music help someone with dementia? For seniors living in a Memory Care community, this type of moment allows them to connect to their memories — something that becomes harder and harder to do with dementia. Through recalling happy memories, music can improve your mood, reduce stress, and help you relax, so it’s a valuable tool for caregivers to help people living with dementia be able to focus on a task that may be confusing or upsetting to them.
Did you know that memories associated with music often remain in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia? The areas of the brain used for musical memory are relatively unaffected by the condition. That’s why music can improve someone’s mood – even someone with extreme memory loss – and it can be a great way to stay bonded with loved ones. Listening to music can help us connect to one another even when verbal communication is no longer possible.
At Artis Senior Living, each of our communities (for Memory Care as well as Assisted Living at Artis Senior Living of Lakeview) is an adaptive environment, to allow each resident to do as they wish versus participating in mandatory group activities. In this way, creating activities (and celebrations) based on the uniqueness of each individual improves their engagement with opportunities like art therapy or concerts. It’s both beneficial and effective!
Participating in Creating Art Has Positive Effects
Senior living communities don’t have to support complicated art projects to offer the benefits of art for seniors. Simply trying out a paint by number kit, drawing on paper, or making a greeting card can help add joy to someone’s life, especially if they’re living with dementia. Studies have shown that art therapy can make an immediate impact for residents with memory loss in senior living, including:
- Improving social interaction
- Enabling expression and enhancing communication
- Stimulating brain activity
- Reducing agitation and stress
- Providing a sense of achievement/purpose
- Creating more “good days” for those with dementia
Art is good for seniors for all these reasons, but it’s not just beneficial for those in Memory Care. Art can provide physical benefits as well, from lowering blood pressure to adding hand strength and reducing stiffness, which can help reduce pain. And just as music does, art provides a way to connect with loved ones. There’s no skill required to join in an art project together — it’s a fun and inspiring experience for everyone involved. For this reason, art is also included for those in Assisted Living at Artis Senior Living of Lakeview.
Explore Senior Living with Music and Art
At Artis, we believe it’s our experiences, achievements and pastimes that define who we are. While a person’s needs change and memories fade, the core of that person’s identity and their passions remain.
As part of our unique approach to care — The Artis Way — we incorporate music and art into the programming of all our communities. For more information, see our recommended activities to enjoy with a loved one who has dementia and find an Artis community near you to experience a different approach to Memory Care.
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