The benefits of music therapy

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2024

Music therapy, a holistic approach to care, holds profound potential for enhancing the well-being and quality of life for the elderly and disabled, and today – 1st March – we are celebrating World Music Therapy Day.

What are the benefits of music therapy?

Enhancing physical health and mobility

For the elderly and disabled, maintaining physical health and mobility is paramount. Music therapy facilitates this by incorporating rhythm and melody to improve coordination, balance, and movement.

Studies have shown that it is particularly effective in stroke rehabilitation, helping to regain motor skills through rhythm-based exercises. And for those living with Parkinson's disease or arthritis, music therapy can significantly reduce symptoms, promote smoother movements, and improve overall physical function, making daily activities more manageable and less painful.

Emotional support and wellbeing

Ageing and disability can often bring feelings of isolation, frustration, and sadness. Music therapy offers a powerful means of emotional expression and connection, allowing listeners to explore and articulate their feelings in a supportive and therapeutic setting.

By engaging in music listening, songwriting, or singing, residents can experience relief from anxiety and depression, fostering a sense of joy, peace, and emotional wellbeing. This form of therapy also encourages reminiscence and self-reflection, helping individuals to reconnect with cherished memories and moments of their lives, enhancing their emotional resilience.

Cognitive stimulation and memory care

Among the elderly, particularly those experiencing cognitive decline or conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's disease, music therapy has shown remarkable benefits in cognitive stimulation and memory recall.

Familiar tunes can trigger memories, providing a bridge to past experiences and improving mood and social interaction. Music therapy sessions designed for cognitive enhancement can also help sharpen attention, concentration, and recall abilities, contributing to a more engaged and mentally active lifestyle.

Social interaction and community building

The communal aspect of music therapy fosters a sense of belonging and connection among participants. Group sessions enable residents to share musical experiences, engage in cooperative activities, and express themselves in a group setting, which can be particularly beneficial for those feeling isolated or disconnected.

These interactions encourage empathy, mutual support, and friendship, reinforcing the social fabric of the aged care community and helping residents to feel valued and understood.

Tailored to individual needs

At Brightwater, we recognise every resident's journey and challenges are different. Music therapy offers the flexibility to tailor interventions to individual needs and preferences, whether it's a group session aimed at socialisation or a one-on-one session focused on specific therapeutic goals.

Our dedicated therapists work closely with residents to ensure that music becomes a means of healing, joy, and connection, enriching their lives in profound ways.

Some of our music therapy sessions include hiring a pianist to play concerts at Madeley, regular musical performances throughout all of our sites, singing group at Oats Street and music therapy sessions during ‘Meet the Neighbours’ sessions at Inglewood.

The many benefits of music therapy

Incorporating music therapy into the care regimen for the elderly and disabled at Brightwater not only addresses a wide range of physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges but also enhances the quality of life and fosters a vibrant community spirit.

So today – on World Music Therapy Day – we’d like to take a moment to celebrate the joy music brings to Brightwater and our residents.

Check out our video of music therapy at Brightwater Oats Street below.