Senior Moments: Music Therapy

A Special Message from Andrew Poll; Geriatric Licensed Clinical Social worker, Musician, and DJ: Our Seniors here in Northern Utah have
laid a firm legacy that runs deep into our heritage here in the great Beehive State. This heartbeat is positively influenced by an actual beat, music. Because we all are governed by rhythms, music is very therapeutic to our physical, and mental health.

We begin our first biological experiences with music from lullabies and sounds of rhythm. The purpose of introducing music from the beginning is to soothe and improve connection between the child and caretakers. Can we take that same thought and use music to soothe our seniors and even improve our connection with them? Yes! As a Musician, DJ, and a Geriatric Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I often have the opportunity first hand to play and sing to seniors in Northern Utah. I am amazed every time to see seniors with severe pain, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic and terminal illnesses laden with anxiety and depression, benefit from good music.

Dr. Stanley Block, developer of Mind and Body Bridging, suggests our brain has two important networks, our Executive Functioning Network and our Default Mode Network. Dr. Block states that if we stimulate any of our senses and become completely aware of that sense, we will increase activity in our Executive Functioning Network. The executive functioning network takes charge, regulating your mind so that you function at you highest potential as a human being. Functioning that help us feel well connected to ourselves, others, and the environment. An overactive Default Mode Network can cause unneeded anxiety making it difficult to respond appropriately to situations as they come up. Learn more at: mindbodybridging.com/more-about-mind-body-bridging/

We want all of our seniors to be at their best with whatever age, illness, or situation they face. Let’s use music as a tool to connect, reduce anxiety,
help memories activate, grieve well, and help soothe the terrifying feelings at the end of life.

For more information or questions regarding this article please contact Bristol Hospice at (801) 737-2633

A note about the author:
Andrew Poll is a Licensed clinical social worker assisting seniors in Weber and Davis county. He runs a geriatric care management
company with his business partner, Aging Solutions. Learn more at agingsolutionsutah.com/.

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