There’s something about music that makes us want to dance and, in some instances, even sing along. Whether you have perfect pitch, can’t carry a tune, or are somewhere in between, there are some surprising health benefits of singing for seniors that can help with physical, emotional and social health.
This blog post will examine the health benefits of singing for seniors. Knowing all these benefits may just make you want to sing along the next time you hear a familiar song on the radio.
12 Health Benefits That’ll Be Music to Your Ears
- Stronger Immune System: According to research conducted at the University of Frankfurt, singing boosts the immune system. The study included testing professional choir members’ blood before and after an hour-long rehearsal singing Mozart’s “Requiem.” The researchers noticed that, in most cases, those who sang showed higher levels of immunoglobulin A, an antibody your body secretes to help you fend off infections.
- Better Breathing: Singing can help you gain strength in your respiratory muscles and may be beneficial for certain lung and breathing conditions, including:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Improved Posture: Proper singing technique requires standing up straight so your chest cavity can expand, causing your shoulders and back to align.
- Less Snoring: Experts believe singing can help strengthen throat and palate muscles, which could help stop snoring and sleep apnea.
- Enhanced Mood: Singing has been shown to release endorphins like dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical that can help boost your mood and make you feel uplifted and happy.
- Less Stress: Making music in any form is a stress reliever. Singing releases stored muscle tension and decreases the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol in your bloodstream. But cortisol levels only go down if you’re singing in a place that doesn’t make you anxious.
- More Alertness: Improved blood circulation and an oxygenated blood stream allow more oxygen to reach the brain, improving mental alertness, concentration and memory.
- Strong Social Bonds: Singing with others is likely to increase feelings of camaraderie and bonding similar to what players on sports teams experience.
- Improved Communication: Singing stimulates multiple areas of the brain at the same time, which may help people with an impairment in one part of the brain communicate using other areas of their brain. In fact, researchers have found that singing improves the speaking ability for people with:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Aphasia following a stroke
- Increased Pain Tolerance: Singing in a group causes your body to release endorphins that can change your perception of pain. However, researchers note that the boost in pain tolerance comes from the positive feelings of social connection, not from the music itself.
- Enhanced Memory: Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia were able to recall song lyrics more easily than other words. Plus, for some, singing familiar songs suddenly brought back forgotten life memories.
- Grief Support: Singing appears to help with the sadness of losing someone you love. In a 2019 study conducted among people dealing with grief, researchers found that for those who sang in a choir, their depression symptoms didn’t get worse and their sense of well-being remained stable.
We’re in Tune with You
At Timber Ridge, our focus is on providing everything you need to enjoy life today and tomorrow. To help, we offer an engaging independent lifestyle and a HealthyLife Services program that promotes whole-body wellness through eight dimensions of wellness. We offer plenty of places and ways to socialize with friends and neighbors… we even have our own 20-person chorus! We also offer a full continuum of on-site care, from independent living to memory care, just in case you ever need it. To learn more about the camaraderie, convenience and peace of mind you’ll enjoy as part of our elevated lifestyle, contact us here.