Music has been proven to be one of most effective therapy for elders to stay healthy both physically and psychologically. By enjoying music, people of all ages, especially old adults, can bright up their mood, create good memories as well as awake happiness in the past. Since this is beneficial, care center or elders’ families are advised to engage music in their lives as much as possible. In this article, we would like to recommend some fun music activities for elderly.
Well-chosen Song Selection
The first notice before any music activities start is the song selection. The genres and taste must be age-appropriate. Your activities can be totally disaster with EDM playlist or hard rock bands! Just like you, seniors would prefer songs and music from their generation rather than today hip-hop style music. Do a small research or don’t bother asking before starting the activities. Old music with favorite artists from their time would bring back so many memories and thus is enjoyable as the result.
Next, make sure the playlist is uplifting. Seniors’ mood is more vulnerable to depression and negative thought as sad lyrics can bring back all the heart-breaking memories and unhappiness. You will want the atmosphere to be relaxed and joyful rather than gloomy with tears and depression. Songs with soft sweet melody with cheerful messages can take elders’ mind off from negative things in the present and enhance positive energy.
After making sure the playlist is perfect with good preference of taste for seniors, you should encourage seniors to show participation by singing along the song. One more notice that is the song should be popular enough for everyone to recognize. Some will not memorize the lyrics so you should be well-prepared by displaying the lyrics for those might have forgotten. Printing many copies of lyrics and giving them to those in need or displaying lyrics on television screen or projectors will help. The song also should be time related such as holiday songs. If you can get seniors to stand up and perform, it would be wonderful. This activity is easy and cozy, enhance self-esteem and tighten connection between seniors and others.
Name That Song
It is time for some games going on. One suggestion is “name that song” game. The game name tells everything, the rule is trying to guess the song right. For the questions, prepare some short clips or cuts from popular songs that elders may know and they will try to give the right answer. If seniors cannot get right at the beginning, playing longer cuts from the songs or giving out some hints will work. Once the right answer is given, play the whole song for everybody. You should encourage seniors to sing along as well and then turn to another question to keep the gameplay going. To keep the mood high, you can try different genres or music.
Trying To Learn New Things
Learning process is proven to be good activity for elders’ brain. It keeps brain working and reduces the risk of dementia and Alzehimer. Seniors who show interest in music are encouraged to take music lessons such as music knowledge or playing instruments. Elders can participate in classes in local or classes designed for seniors. You also can organize music groups for seniors to share and learning about music together. To create a music group or class, a research as about what kind of music or instruments elders are interested should be conducted before starting. To get more attention, a small presentation with information about the classes for seniors will be helpful. This activity costs more time to prepare and conduct but is very beneficial for seniors in many ways. They will have chances to enjoy music, learning new things, share same interests with others and have fun in daily life.
Or Just Simply Listen To Music
Besides many activities above, one music activity should not be omitted is listening to music. Bringing music to elders’ lives and making it to be the way elders relax and express their feeling are just as beneficial as other music activities. When a relaxing song is played, older adults’ body will automatically response to it, muscles tension is eased, heart beat is slowing down and blood pressure is reduced. Seniors can listen to their favorite music alone or in group, up to their choice. A quite area with comfortable sits would be ideal for older adults to get away from noise and distraction and focus on relax only. Moreover, you can make seniors passively listen to music by play in soft songs or classical music on the background. Some slow music before going to bed is good for seniors’ sleep as well.
Small Tip: Keep The Playlist Updated
Last but not least, please bear in mind that not all seniors have same taste of music! The difference in preference can cause uncomfortable situations in advance. Therefore, make sure that you update the music playlist with diverse music interests and try to take turn or mix various genres or artists in order to keep the enjoyable atmosphere. Even if you have well-prepared and pick most of uplifting songs, some music can unfortunately remind bad times or arouse negative memories that possibly upset seniors. Carefully watch seniors’ reactions and eliminate such songs out of playlist and avoid playing them in the future.
In addition, ask if there is any song seniors want to play, look it up and add it to the playlist. Keep the process going on for new and interesting feeling. The beneficial of music will be gone if same songs are play over and over again. Sometimes, the old boring playlist can backfire and distress our seniors instead of making them feel good!
Following these tips will bring great chance for your beloved seniors to relax and enjoy their music time with others. One more important thing that is your love, it’s as good as hundred wonderful songs!