The Global Council on Brain Health has adopted recommendations for using musical activities to promote mental well-being in adults ages 50 and older.

Music can reduce anxiety and depression, and potentially ease agitation for people living with dementia. It also helps to increase social connection and stimulate thinking skills, the organization stated.

Well-known music causes the strongest brain responses, but new music engages the brain, the report’s authors added. Moving or dancing to music may be especially useful now that social distancing is limiting group gatherings and other important brain health activities. It not only provides physical exercise but can be adapted virtually as a fun way for seniors to socialize with friends and family even when they are physically apart, the council suggested.

Interaction with musical instruments, music lessons and singing are additional ways seniors can incorporate this art into their lives.

A link to the full report and recommendations can be found here.

Other news regarding resident well-being and the arts:

Photos of home and nature help to relax residents suffering from pain: Digital photos may help older adults in nursing homes cope with pain, according to research published online in the journal European Geriatric Medicine. Study participants reported that photographs of family members, homes, and natural scenery made them feel relaxed and happy. They also preferred to view the images on digital devices as opposed to seeing hard copy versions. “Visual stimulation is an approach of distraction that can effectively reduce pain thresholds and increase pain tolerances,” said the researchers.