Music Therapy Care for Older Adults

Older adults, especially those who have specific healthcare needs, can benefit from receiving music therapy services.

After assessing an individual’s needs and capabilities, the music therapist designs custom interventions to help each client maintain health and quality of life.

Some of the areas that music therapists address include:

  • Movement, strength, balance, gate, and range of motion.
  • Self-esteem and social interaction
  • Memory stimulation, long- and short-term
  • Cognition and reality orientation
  • Verbal skills and communication
  • Stress reduction and motivation
  • Relationships and end-of-life care

What is the difference between music activities and music therapy?

Music activities, such as those provide by a volunteer musician or facilitator, fill time and can provide some entertainment factor. They can help divert attention away from pain, worry, and anxiety and help people feel more socially connected. Music therapy does all those things and adds the depth of a healthcare professional who knows how to assess people’s needs, communicate effectively with staff and family members, is ethically responsible and dedicated to the health and well being of the client. Music therapy doesn’t simply fill time or entertain, it also provides personalized care and attention for each person by an allied healthcare professional. Music activities are appropriate for typical populations without special needs. When clients have a diagnosis or are in a sensitive condition, music therapy is appropriate.

Music Therapy with older adults can be an effective treatment option because it is based on a person’s relationship with music. Many older adults will be more engaged in physical activity, reminiscence, socializing, and other activities for daily living, because of their relationship with music and the ways in which the music therapist helps them connect with the music they love. Clients are not required to have musical backgrounds or training to fully participate in music therapy experiences and music therapists are trained to help clients become more involved in the music by providing a multitude of ways for every person to express themselves. Music therapists help clients do more while making sure every client gets the care and attention he/she needs and deserves.

More families and facilities are turning towards music therapy to provide quality end-of-life care because they see the positive effects. To learn more about how music therapy can help your family member or clients, contact us.