You might already know that the right music can sooth emotions or energize you for an activity, but did you know that research has shown that music might also promote better cognitive health and other benefits as you age? According to the NAMN Foundation, participating regularly in activities that involve music may stimulate the brain in a way to slows the decline of cognitive functions related to age or disease processes such as dementia. And learning to play an instrument can help older adults maintain or develop better mental processes skills.
Music also provides social benefits when you engage in activities together, such as listening to favorite songs, singing or dancing. Here are several ways to enjoy the benefits of music in your assisted living community or apartment.
If you have a smartphone, tablet or computer — or a smart device, such as a smart TV, Google Home or Amazon Alexa product — you can stream infinite music right in your assisted living apartment. Simply sign up for a streaming service, such as Spotify or Pandora. Both options offer a free service that lets you search for favorite tunes and artists and discover new-to-you music that matches your preferences. For more powerful music streaming without ad interruptions, you can opt for the paid version. Spotify Premium, for example, costs about $10 a month.
Gather a group of like-minded residents who also enjoy music for a weekly hymn sing. Invite people to bring their own instruments and put on an impromptu choir presentation in one of the Cambridge Court common areas, or gather round a piano in your own (or someone else's) assisted living apartment. You can create a schedule of hymns to hand out before each gathering so people can come prepared or simply invite people to show up and sing hymns you select as you go. Add coffee and refreshments or time the hymn sing with food services in the assisted living community for a full-scale singing party.
Dancing helps you enjoy music and benefits for the entire body, and it can be customized to almost every capability level. From someone who is chair bound to someone who can still bop and hop, dancing is a fun, active way to enjoy the company of others. Participate in any dancing activities scheduled at Cambridge Court, or put a small CD player in one of the common areas and invite fellow residents to join you for an afternoon dance off.
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