There are plenty of benefits to residing in an assisted living community – from enjoying three prepared meals a day to a variety of engaging and entertaining activities.
To celebrate this, the National Center for Assisted Living announced that Sept. 7-13 will be National Assisted Living Week with the theme of "The Magic of Music." This theme was chosen to showcase the important role music plays in assisted living communities and the positive effects it can have on residents. Music brings joy and comfort to anyone listening or playing, and it can also help with memory recall, which is highly beneficial for those with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Music can connect family members, residents or seniors to staff members.
There are a variety of ways to incorporate musical events into the week, and here are some excellent options seniors may enjoy:
Dance parties: Physical activity is important for people no matter their age, and getting up to cut a rug is one of the most fun ways to move. Crank up some oldies and do the twist, the Charleston or just move to the beat. Seniors will love hearing old classics and favorite tunes while reaping the benefits of a non-traditional workout.
Learn to play: If seniors living in assisted living communities are contemplating learning to play an instrument, this is the perfect week to get started. Celebrate the theme of National Assisted Living Week by making the choice to start playing the piano, guitar, trumpet or other instrument.
Name that tune: Memory and thinking games are popular and beneficial activities in assisted living communities, as they are both fun and functional in helping older adults retain their memories. This week, seniors will enjoy playing name that tune as they listen to easily recognizable songs and state the title.
Sing-a-longs: Residents of senior living communities can be encouraged to join their community's chorus or start one if it doesn't exist already. The group can choose what sorts of songs they'd like to perform, and at the end of the week the choir can host a concert for fellow residents, staff and family. Audience members could be encouraged to sing along with tunes they know, and it will be a pleasure for chorus members to share their love of music with others.
National Assisted Living Week is a wonderful time to celebrate the beauty and magic of music, but these activities and ideas can be incorporated into a community throughout the year. Many studies have been completed on the benefits of music for older adults, and there are a variety of music therapy programs that use tunes and melodies to help boost mood, improve memory, encourage sharing and make people feel good.