Using music as a tool to support health and wellness 

in individual and group sessions for older adults

MUSIC THERAPY AND OLDER ADULTS

COMMON MUSIC THERAPY GOALS FOR OLDER ADULTS:

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Honor personhood

• Pain management 

• Communication

• Movement 

• Cognitive impairment 

• Isolation

• Self-expression

• Relationships

• Cognitive/sensory stimulation  

• Stress reduction/relaxation

• Transition/loss 

• Physical symptoms

• Coping/support 

• Normalization 

• Enrichment

• Coping

• Confusion 

• Wandering 

• Agitation

• Self-esteem/sense of self

• Building community 

• Control and choice 

• Quality of life 

• Empowerment 

• Spirituality

• Memory 

• Speech/language 

• Interaction/socialization

• Life-review/legacy 

• Catharsis 

• Bereavement/grief 

• Motivation for other therapies 

• Co-treatment with other therapies

• Consultation for 24/7 care strategies

WHY MUSIC THERAPY FOR OLDER ADULTS:

   • Provides a normalizing experience for older adults and their carepartners

   • Natural, familiar, engaging, motivating, and non-invasive medium

   • Incorporates preferences meaningful to the clients and carepartners

   • Individual and group opportunities for intervention using alternative means of

     communication, self-expression, interaction, and thinking

   • Simultaneously clinical and creative

   • Research supports music therapy intervention for a variety of needs of older adults

   • Beneficial for those with neurological impairments due to the way the brain processes

     music

WHY A MUSIC THERAPIST FOR AN OLDER ADULT GROUP:

• Recognize and assess needs that may need further intervention and support

• Specialized training, knowledge and experience to facilitate engagement

• Adapt tasks to needs/abilities of group members

• Cope smoothly and seamlessly with changes in group members

• Explore and express individual preferences

• Create meaningful experiences and interaction

• Preferred cognitive and sensory experiences

• Positive social interaction and enhance quality of life

• Build group cohesion and pride

• Optimal for intergenerational program

• Expertise in working with older adults

• Balance needs of all group members