A new project from Anglia Ruskin University indicates that music therapy is much more effective than what was once thought when it comes to helping those that have suffered from a stroke reach a better level of recovery. The reasons why this happens are still up for debate. Some of those involved in the study believe it is because this type of music therapy helps to overcome things like minor depression, fatigue, and low engagement.
Neurorehabilitation–the recovery of the brain–seems to be positively impacted when music is involved, according to this study. 177 patients that were at the rehab unit in Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge participated in this research with some pretty impressive results. Over the course of two years and 675 sessions, remarkable results were revealed. This doesn’t just go for physical recovery, but mental health, too. It was the first time that music therapy was looked at on the large scale, and the conclusions were pretty exciting.
Physical therapy for those who have suffered from a stroke tends to focus on repetition, what is often referred to as “massed practice.” Through the playing of instruments and musical apps on an iPad, patients were not only able to utilize the repetitive motions associated with physical therapy effectively, they were able to recreate very closely what traditional physical therapy entails for someone suffering from a stroke.
The therapists were able to effectively work on things like finger dexterity, hand coordination and movement, gross motor skills, and more through the use of instruments and technology. The exercises may not have been as precise as previously established therapeutic methods found in a clinic might be, but they were just as effective. Now, add in the fact that music and a fun task was involved instead of a clinic setting without these things, and it’s no surprise that the patients that went through this trial came away a lot happier than those that typically receive physical therapy tend to be.
Occupational therapy and speech and language pathology were also administered to those involved in this study. This is common for those that have undergone a stroke and they were applied in the traditional manner in order to help keep the music therapy results as controlled as possible.
Is music therapy right for a loved one that has had a stroke? Maybe. This is something that you will need to speak with a doctor about. Unfortunately, although it can be beneficial, not every area in the United States has music therapy readily available for seniors and others that would benefit from it. If it is something that you think would be helpful and want to pursue, you will need to speak with a professional regarding your loved one’s scenario and together come up with the best solution for their recovery.
Every senior will have a slightly different set of needs. This is why customized senior care, like what can be done through in-home care, is so vital to the total health of an elderly individual. Stroke recovery seems to be similar in this regard. By taking into account someone’s unique circumstances, better results can be provided for. Music therapy is just another example of this.