The older, old (> 85 years), are one of the fastest growing population segments, and among this cohort, individuals often reside in an assisted living or long-term care facility. Although sadness and depression are not a normal characteristic of aging, nursing home residents are often depressed. Interventions to provide mental stimulation, overcome loneliness, foster social interaction, social support, aid functional capabilities, and improve perception of care are needed for this special population cohort. In an effort to address these issues a pilot study was initiated that blended active music therapy and modified dance therapy. Twenty-two residents from two senior facilities (19 skilled residents and 3 from an Assisted Living setting) were assessed. All skilled residents were wheel chair bound while assisted living residents were ambulatory. Twice a week, 45-60 minute activity sessions were performed for 8 weeks. Pre-and post-study instruments were used to assess cognitive status, depression symptoms, and functional abilities. Regression analysis indicated mild improvements in mental status and cognitive abilities and a significant improvement in depression scores (p = .000).
|Keywords:||Health Promotion, Innovative, Low Cost, Non-Pharmacological, Sadness, Depression, Older-Old, Long Term Care, Dance Therapy, Music Therapy, Quality of Life|
Associate Professor, College of Health Professions, School of Health Administration , Texas Long Term Care Institute, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA
Texas State University, Texas, USA