People love music.  It’s our entertainment; we dance to it and we listen to it to make mundane activities more enjoyable, e.g. driving to work.  However, the health benefits that music has on the elderly are astounding.

Senior Centers

Image by Neighborhood Centers via Flickr

The Benefits of Exercising to Music

Studies have shown that when the elderly listen to music while exercising, it helps them in the following ways:

  • Balance maintenance.
  • Fall risk reduction.

Unfortunately, the threat that falls pose to the elderly are huge; 33 percent of those over 65 fall at least once per year.  Very interesting is that studies have shown that it is more beneficial for the elderly to exercise to music than without it.  One Swedish study compared two groups of senior citizens, one that exercised to piano music and another that exercised with no music.  The group that listened to piano music improved their balance when walking, and ultimately had half the number of falls as the group that did not listen to music while exercising.

Senior Citizens Find That New Ulm, Minnesota, ...

Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

The Benefits of Listening to Music

Studies on music and its relation to the elderly have demonstrated remarkable psychological benefits, such as:

  • A happier outlook on life.
  • Bettered social interaction.
  • Encouraged self-expression and discovery of personal identity.
  • Enhanced moods.
  • Improved interest levels.
  • Increased communication in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
  • Increased positive emotions.
  • Increased relaxation.
  • Increased self-esteem.
  • Reduced tension and anxiety.

Studies also show that music promotes positive overall health.  Those that listen to music demonstrate:

  • Better nights of sleep.
  • Diminished pain.
  • Improved memory and recall.
  • Improved recovery time.
  • Increased ability to concentrate.
  • Increased awareness.
  • Increased mobility and coordination.
  • Increased overall cognitive abilities.
  • Lessened need for medication.
  • Reduced pain.
  • Reduced recovery time.

Amber Paley is a guest post and article writer bringing to us the benefits of music to the elderly. Amber also writes about nursing home abuse statistics.


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