As far back as the 1700s when English poet and playwright wrote, “Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak” people recognized the effect music has on people. Scientists have studied music and its effect on the health of the mind and body in the past. With renewed interest in finding alternatives for opioids, researchers have looked at how listening to music might help to ease pain.
Music May Improve Chronic Pain
In one review of 14 previous studies, researchers reported that people with chronic pain who listened to music reported feeling less pain. In another study involving mice, scientists looked at how listening to music compared to taking pain medications for reducing pain. They discovered that in comparison to the painkiller ibuprofen, listening to music made the pain killer 93 percent more effective as opposed to mice who received ibuprofen but did not listen to music. Listening to music also had a positive effect on inflammation, reducing it by 9 percent more.
4 Other Benefits of Music
Music has lots of other benefits for people of all ages, including older adults. Some additional benefits of music are:
- Improve Alzheimer’s Symptoms and Behaviors: Researchers believe that music can help with memory in Alzheimer’s patients because the parts of the brain that control musical memory are not typically damaged by the disease. For this reason, experts say that when seniors with Alzheimer’s disease listen to music it can help to reduce agitation, anxiety, and depression.
- Reduce Stress: There is a great deal of research supporting listening to music as a means of reducing stress. In one study, people listened to music before being put into a stressful situation. Scientists found that music helped them to recover from the stressor more quickly than if they had not listened to music.
- Helps with Weight Loss: Music may even help seniors who are overweight to shed excess pounds, which can improve health and reduce the risk for multiple health problems. Studies show that listening to soft music while eating puts people in a relaxed state and may cause them to eat more slowly, helping them to more easily notice when they are full.
- Better Quality Sleep: Research shows that listening to music helps people to sleep better during the night. In fact, listening to music may be an effective treatment for many kinds of sleep disorders, including insomnia.
Senior care can use music as a means of improving the health of your aging relative. A senior care provider can play soft music during dinner time to make the meal more enjoyable and encourage slower eating. If the older adult has dementia, senior care can use music to help them relax and reduce agitation and aggression. In the evening, a senior care provider can play quiet music to help your loved one fall asleep.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Ewing, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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