The US populations of individuals over the ages of 65 and 85, respectively, are expected to steadily increase from 35.6 to 82 million, and 4.3 to 19.4 million over the next 50 years. The majority of older adults have at least one chronic condition. The most common conditions include hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, sinusitis, and diabetes. In 1997, more than half of the older population (54.5%) reported having at least one disability (physical or nonphysical). Some of these disabilities may be relatively minor but others may be severe and cause people to require more assistance. Music whether attempting to play an instrument, or listening can help sooth the person
helping to reduce the stress of the elder and the caregiver. Whether it is related to any of the following:
• COGNITIVE: Individuals with dementia or another Organic Brain Syndrome (OBS) often experience changes in their ability to recall and retain recent memories or learned information. They may also develop the inability to reason and care for themselves.
• SPEECH/COMMUNICATION: These skills can be damaged from a cardiovascular accident (Stroke)or when a person has a disorder influencing the central nervous system (Parkinson’s disease) or musculoskeletal system (Osteoarthritis), or if the person has a memory-related disorder. These individuals may have trouble with control of the muscles in the face and mouth, experience the inability to form and express sentences or thoughts, may forget words, and may loose the ability to understand speech.
• PHYSICAL/MOTOR SKILLS: Some people are diagnosed with physical disorders affecting the
central nervous system (Parkinson’s Disease or Tardive Dyskinesia), the musculoskeletal system
(Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, etc.) resulting in contractures of the skeletal muscles (leading to tremors and rigidity), weakness of muscles, stiffness, swelling, pain, brittle bones, and loss of bone mass. This leaves people with a reduced ability to move, care for themselves or participate in the activities of daily living. Others may lose their hearing or experience loss of eyesight. Many people also have general body aches and pains associated from growing older.
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL: Many people become less mobile, and their eyesight and hearing worsens as they age. This makes social situations difficult and may cause many older people to retreat. In addition, they may not be able to participate in the things they have always liked to do, leaving them lonely and with no or limited access to social interaction with their friends and family, resulting insolation. As their bodies experience changes and begin to fail, many experience depression and anxiety. Others may become depressed at the loss of their spouse or other family members. Family members experience emotional loss as their loved ones begin to deteriorate physically. This leads to stress and burnout for the spouse or any family caregiver.
Music has been proven to result in bringing some tranquility and less tension so do seek instruments or listen to soothing music as a choice for relaxing during a stressful moment or prior to a stressful moment.