Musicking fo Elderly and Caregivers

Active engagement of musicking can help elderly with dementia to be oriented in the present, having the interaction and connecting the relationship with close friend and family, and also can trigger the felt of being engage on something, so that the mood and motivation will be increased.

Some of music activities which can be done by Elderly and Caregivers are:

  1.  Listen or sing together memorable songs that used to be heard or sang by the Elderly in the past. These songs can be songs from different language which are known by Elderly such as Mandarin, Dutch, Native Language, ect. Songs from various artist whom Elderly like to hear when they were young, or religious song according their beliefs. In order this activity can create significant impact, the Caregivers also need to be involve on musicking by doing some discussion about the song or the artist. Example given, a discussion about the lyrics, which part of the lyrics is his/her favorite or less favorite? Which song is his/her favorite from that artist? Are there any specific memories in the past when you hear that song? What is the message from the song can be apply on our daily life routines?
  2. Dance to the music or creating simple movements to do stretching while listening to the music. For Elderly who are musician, practicing instrument slightly with families or caregivers can help to stimulate his/her cognitive and to build interaction. Music activity also can be done intergeneration. Example given, Elderly teach their grandchildren instrument or dance and sing together with grandchildren and children. Especially for caregivers, to maintain wellness of mental health while supporting the Elderly can do musicking by learning how to play instrument for fun, writing lyrics, singing, designing Purposeful Playlist and make Purposeful Music Listening. 
  3. Purposeful Playlistis a song playlist which designed independently by each person according to his/her emotion at that timeandthe emotion which he/she wants to achieve. Purposeful playlist starts with a song which represented current emotion and ends with the emotion which want to be aimed. His/her duty next is to put the songs between these two songs which the environment will gradually change from the first song until the last song. The numbers of the song between the first and the last song needs to be adjusted according to the needs of each person. If it is too short, the displacement of emotion of the song will be too fast and hard for ourselves to follow emotion moves. On the other hand, if it Is too long there will be possibility we lose concentration or even feel bored in the middle of listening to the playlist.
  4. Purposeful Music Listening is an activity to listen to a song in details and mindful. While listening to the song, try to pay attention to the tone, the volume of the sound, the change of the tempo and other details from the music. You can also intentionally play the song which has slow tempo and relaxing, and while listening to it you also try to keep up your breath with the tempo of the song.

Thereby some music activities which can help to maintain wellness of our mental health during this pandemic situation with our Elderly at home. The most important from musicking for Elderly and Caregivers is to always do it intentionally and for us to be willing to spend time with full concentration on this activity. So, we can feel the benefit of it significantly.  


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