For senior citizens, the cognitive and other mentally based declines are a sad and frustrating yet ultimately unavoidable part of life. Troubles with memory, concentration and numerous other symptoms are something that the overwhelming majority of aging individuals will have to deal with.
But are there ways of slowing down or even reversing this process? Experts have long been aware of the mental and physical benefits of playing a musical instrument. Yet, much less research has previously been conducted on the advantages of singing in a choir. New findings indicate that this isn’t just an excellent way to spend a Wednesday evening. According to these studies, singing in a choir carries very similar – if not identical – mental health benefits as playing in a band or orchestra do.
A Sense of Community
When human beings are kept in isolation, various declines inevitably begin to happen. This problem is even worse in seniors who are already starting to experience mental and physical declines as a natural part of aging. Attending weekly choir practices can give seniors a connective feeling that stays with them the rest of the week.
Memory loss is one of the main problems that senior citizens face. It’s frightening and frustrating to lose the ability to keep track of events; many are willing to try anything that can combat common diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be medication or complex brain exercises. Simply by processing the complex information involved in engaging with a choral piece, seniors can walk away remembering things from their day-to-day more clearly than they have in years.
Motivation and Inspiration
For some seniors, keeping up with a healthy lifestyle and staying active doesn’t come as quickly as it once did. Seniors who invest time and energy in learning how to sing a piece of music often report that they’re filled with a new sense of inspiration, which helps them keep up with healthy habits that allow them to live longer and fuller lives.
It Makes You Happy
The reason why people sing has everything to do with how it makes us feel. Seniors can enjoy a mood boost whenever listening to a song they want, and singing ramps up those feel-good endorphins even further. There’s something about using the voice to create music – especially as a group – that brings pure joy to people, and joy is something that older adults could always use some more of.