Music for Seniors: Improve Health, Mood, and Sleep

music for seniors

Music improves health, mood, and sleep

Music has many therapeutic benefits for seniors and sometimes helps more than medication. In documentaries like Alive Inside, we’ve seen how music can deeply affect older adults with cognitive issues.

This study showed that in stressful pre-surgery situations, patients who listened to music rather than taking anti-anxiety meds actually had less anxiety and lower cortisol (stress) levels.

Other studies say that music can also:

  • Reduce pain
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Help post-stroke recovery
  • Improve memory and engage people with memory disorders like Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve mood and decrease depression
  • Have an anti-seizure effect
  • Boost immune function

These are all great reasons to make music a part of your senior’s daily routine. As a bonus, music might help you feel happier and less stressed too!


Play the right music

To get these benefits, you need to play music that your older adult enjoys. If they still have their music collection, dig through those albums to find their favorite bands. Start by playing music from their youth and find something that brings that spark to their eyes.


Next Step  Find music seniors will love! We rounded up dozens of top hits from every generation


You might also like:
Alive Inside: Movie Shows How Music Helps Dementia
6 Everyday Products That Help with Caregiving
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Caregiver


By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: kamere


  • Reply March 6, 2016

    Emily Tiong

    Hai, I’m doing the master thesis about the senior citizen join the church choir. Thank for the information. It’s helping me a lot. Thanks and GOD bless!

    • Reply March 6, 2016

      Connie Chow

      I’m so glad we could help in your research! I love that you’re focusing on older adults who sing — it’s such an uplifting activity. Best, Connie

  • Reply September 3, 2015

    Gregory Dinger

    All of this is very true but you can’t just put on music and then let them be. You have to have specialized training to fully benefit the person and their health. A music therapist would be perfect for this task. Music therapists know all about the healing power of music and they know what to do when the music triggers such a response. In general, I love this article! I just wanted to further inform those who may not know about the music therapy field. Keep on advocating for the healing powers of music!

    • Reply September 3, 2015

      Connie Chow

      Hi Gregory, thank you! I’m so glad you found the article helpful. Thank you for sharing how music therapists can help seniors benefit from music even more. However, there’s also a lot to be said for simply sitting and enjoying music together. We don’t have to be experts to put on some tunes for our loved ones, listen to great songs, and reminisce with them when the music brings back fond memories. That’s one of the best things about music — it’s universal and can be enjoyed by everyone from birth to end-of-life.

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