It’s April! It’s time for Jazz Appreciation Month. Anyone who enjoys listening to music can attest to the fact that listening to music makes people feel good. Whether it’s jazz, or classical, or rock and roll, music can lift our spirits and make us smile. A song from the past can bring back memories of people we once knew and things we once did.
Recent studies have begun to shed some light on just how music affects the brain. One study showed that patients who listened to music before surgery felt less anxiety than those who did not listen to music, but who took anti-anxiety drugs. Other studies have shown that music has many other medical benefits. If your dad enjoys music, ask his elderly care provider to play the kinds of music he enjoys so that he can reap some health benefits.
Music improves cognitive function: A study showed that college students who listened to just ten minutes of Mozart prior to an IQ test, scored higher than those who listened to a relaxation tape or to nothing at all.
Music lowers blood pressure: In a study of patients who were aged 74 or older and undergoing cataract surgery, those who listed to music before, during, and after the surgery had lower blood pressure following surgery than those who did not listen to music.
Music reduces depression: A review of research conducted in the 1990s showed that music improves mood and reduced symptoms of depression.
Music can reduce the risk of falling: Research indicated that patients who participated in a program that trained them to perform gait and balance exercises in time with music had better balance after six months than people who did not exercise to music.
Music can help stroke victims recover: Scientists discovered that patients who listened to music for one hour per day while undergoing standard treatment for a stroke showed significant improvement in verbal memory over those who listened to audiobooks or to nothing at all.
Not only can music improve your dad’s health, but sharing the music he loves with other people, such as his elderly care provider, gives him the chance to share something about himself with others. Music can also be a great way for you to bond with your dad since he is likely to reminisce about his life while listening to music from his younger days. You may just learn things about him or his family members that you wouldn’t otherwise have known.