Music TherapyIndividuals who suffer strokes may require long term senior therapy and rehabilitation at skilled nursing care facilities. A growing body of evidence indicates music therapies sometimes offer important benefits for patients in this situation. For example, A. G. Rhodes has conducted innovative music therapy and Songs For Seniors programs. Recently, a study conducted through Anglia Ruskin University lent further support to the importance of music in assisting recovering stroke patients.

A Comprehensive Two Year Study

Researchers published the results of the two-year Anglia Ruskin study recently in Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, a medical journal. A team of scientists evaluated the results of a neurologic music therapy program provided to 177 recovering stroke patients. These individuals participated in a total of 675 therapy sessions. Therapists encourages patients recovering from strokes to perform repetitive movements by playing musical instruments. They provided a combination of hand-held percussion instruments, keyboards, drums, and an iPad touchscreen display of computerized musical instruments.

At the conclusion of therapy sessions, evaluators filled out detailed questionnaires. Researchers evaluated responses from 139 patients, as well as answers provided by hospital staff members and family members. The results suggest music therapy offers valuable benefits to some people recovering from debilitating strokes. Significant numbers of patients in the study displayed improvements attributed to participating in the neurologic music therapy sessions, in fact. The researchers concluded the therapy offers assistance to some stroke patients in reorganizing neural pathways in the brain following strokes.

Some Benefits of Music Therapy

By participating in music therapy, many patients experience greater social engagement. A number of evaluators have reported the mood of participants becomes happier as a result of undertaking music therapy (a finding reflected in the recent study). Additionally, some patients report they experience improved concentration, as well as enhanced dexterity.

Today, a variety of different music therapy activities offer new hope to stroke patients and their loved ones. Participating in something as simple as singing may assist a depressed patient in obtaining a happier, more optimistic outlook. This activity holds great benefits for some seniors undergoing long term rehabilitation after strokes. It can help make daily life happier in a meaningful way for many patients!