It’s Music Therapy Month: Exploring the benefits for older adults

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”

― Plato, Philosopher


Music is a safe, inexpensive strategy to support health and well-being. Given the deep connection that most of us have with music, it should be no surprise that researchers worldwide continue to investigate music's therapeutic benefits. Whether for yourself or a loved one, consider incorporating more music into your everyday life and enjoy its benefits.


Music can help ease your hospital stay

If you’re undergoing surgery or other hospital treatments, you’re probably not thinking of boogying to the beat. But research shows that music therapy can reduce anxiety and pain and help ease depression and fatigue.


Music can improve walking speed

Walking speed and “gait” (the pattern and manner of walking) are important indicators to gauge your overall health. Whether you realize it or not, you may be training yourself for a longer, healthier, and more active lifestyle by listening to music while you walk.


Music may improve cognitive functioning

Research has shown that active music-making therapy may improve cognitive functioning by a small but important amount in older adults with cognitive impairment or mild to moderate dementia. Seek out music-based programming delivered by a professional, emphasizing activities that actively engage participants in music-making.  


Music can improve overall behavioural issues in people with dementia

Studies have shown that listening to music allows older adults with dementia to be calmer, which indirectly helps reduce caregivers' stress levels. Also, group music therapy sessions led by a trained music therapist helped reduce caregivers’ anxiety by allowing them to express and share their feelings.


Whether for yourself or a loved one, consider incorporating more music into your everyday life and enjoy its many benefits. See our featured resources below to read more about music’s benefits in these areas.

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DISCLAIMER: Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website