Art and music provide comfort, release, and personal expression for people of all ages. Many seniors benefit greatly from music and art in their lives, whether they play an instrument, are learning to watercolor, or attend art history lectures at a local community center. Identified as paths to healthy aging, exposure and participation in the arts enrich the lives of seniors.
The people we serve at Liberty Resources Home Choices are encouraged to take advantage of art and music therapy programs in the Philadelphia area and eastern Pennsylvania. Here, we discuss the reasons we promote art and music therapy for senior health.
Seniors Keep Playing
Being active in the arts has just as much significance as exercise and other physical activities for boosting physical, mental, and emotional wellness. All these are important throughout our lives. Just as many seniors continue to play sports such as tennis, softball, swimming, and pickleball, they often keep playing their instruments and engage in other artistic pursuits. Here are a few of the benefits that arts and music bring to older adults:
Physical Exertion and Coordination
Whether playing guitar, dancing with a partner, or creating textile arts, creating art is an opportunity for using muscles, motor control, balance, and the senses. Through engaging creatively with such activities, seniors may not even realize they are getting so much exercise. In this way, music and art therapy can be the ideal solution for a senior who is reluctant or unable to engage in strenuous physical activity.
The intellectual activity inherent in many arts also helps seniors stay more alert and practice complicated reasoning. They may also be called upon to engage their memory, such as when painting a scene from the past, referencing another work of art, writing a story based on experience, or building a character for dramatic productions.
The arts enhance self-esteem and feelings of well-being. When creating a piece of art, be it a musical composition, pottery, calligraphy, or mosaic, there is often a finished product. A sense of accomplishment, and perhaps more importantly, an opportunity for the expression of emotions and ideas, are inherent in the production of art.
The Give and Take of Art and Music Therapy
We have found that participation in social groups is important to the physical and mental health of seniors. As stated in the mission and vision for Liberty Resources Home Choices, we believe that staying engaged with the community is a right to be respected and honored. Our caregivers provide opportunities to gather for art therapy or music therapy and to participate in community events. In this way, seniors can get out of the house and interact with peers, as well as experience art and music. These activities aid seniors by:
- Addressing mental and emotional health
- Providing enriching life experiences
- Facilitating self-expression and communication
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
The benefits of music therapy for seniors extend to some people with Alzheimer’s disease. Music can reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues that individuals with this condition experience from time to time. It can also be calming, as seniors with Alzheimer’s disease listen to their favorite music, often able to sing along or remember lyrics.
Similarly, art projects can provide important opportunities to express feelings, thoughts, and memories, even during the later stages of the disease.
Life-Affirming Caregiving With Liberty Resources Home Choices
People with disabilities and seniors in the Philadelphia metro area deserve lifestyle support that enables them to participate in art therapy and music therapy. Seniors who sing in community or church choirs, enjoy painting classes, or have played a musical instrument throughout their lives can continue these activities as they are able, with the help of our compassionate caregivers.
Dedicated to uplifting the independence of seniors and people with disabilities, Liberty Resources Home Choices works diligently to provide services that enable individuals to maintain autonomy, even as they receive assistance. For more information about our services, contact us today.