Much more than just a time-filler, live music holds therapeutic benefits for nursing home residents. According to a 2016 study, live music has been shown to reduce cortisol levels in the body, allowing for a stronger immune system, reduction in depression, better memory and many other benefits. It’s no wonder that nursing homes schedule in a healthy dose of live music!
Music also has the power to unlock positive emotions and memories. And attending performances with others creates a space for building relationships. The low physical and cognitive requirements allow for a range of abilities to enjoy this shared experience.
Even those in a later stage of dementia can benefit from this sensory stimulation. Hearing music that evokes memories can help a resident reflect on their life and feel a stronger sense of meaning, as well as make them feel connected to the community outside of the nursing home walls. This in turn can contribute to a stronger sense of self and a positive outlook. Additionally, the musical performances are a diversion from the day-to-day activities, keeping life interesting and providing fresh experiences for our kūpuna.