Music and the Elderly

Music has the amazing power to transform a dinner at home into a romantic evening. A song over the radio can help you relive the best night of your life or a truly painful loss. Music captures moments and suspends them in time.

Hans Christian Anderson said, “Where words fail, music speaks.” This has been seen in the lives of elderly patients as they come alive by the memories conjured by old melodies. As people age, their minds and souls continue to grow and become trapped in failing bodies.

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Music can help improve the quality of life of elderly people limited in their daily activities. Between their home health care and struggles to do daily tasks older people who are stuck in their homes have lost much of their joy to live. Music can help them regain that passion for life. Here are a few ideas for incorporating more music into your loved one’s life.

MP3 Player

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It won’t take you long to load 100 of your loved one’s favorite songs on to an MP3 player or another music device, but it will afford them hours upon hours of enjoyment. Whether it is big band music from the early 1900s or 80’s hair bands, it shouldn’t take too long to find the music that speaks to their soul. If you have a little bit of time to devote to the project you could even make a list of their favorite songs to put on their music device.

Play an Instrument

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If your loved one used to play an instrument, even if it was back in their 20’s, don’t be afraid to pull out the case, dust it off and play a few notes. It may surprise you how quickly they remember how to play. If they’re willing you could sign them up for lessons so they can continue increasing their talent.

By encouraging them to play you are helping them to have another hobby that they can invest themselves in and feel like they are progressing instead of just sitting around the house. If they are confident enough you could even do a mini-recital with them so they can show their friends and family the progress they are making.


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If you hear that a concert is coming to town that they might enjoy then get tickets and take your loved one. A sit-down concert is a great way for them to get out of the house and enjoy something they love.

Music While Exercising

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If your loved one has an exercise routine that they do each day, even if it is just walking around the house, try playing some of their favorite upbeat songs from when they were younger. The music may help them to keep better balance as they focus on something else while walking. It could also help them to remember days gone by so be prepared to listen to some riveting stories from before you were born.

Drumming workshops music to residents’ ears

You will be surprised at how alive the music makes your elderly loved one feel and act. They will have stories to tell and melodies to hum along with as they enjoy a blast from their past.

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