Drumming is all the rage among the older generations these days. Many senior centers and assisted living communities are including drumming as part of their activity programs and everyone is seeing the difference it makes. Even scientists and researchers have been able to document how ensemble drumming reduces the effects of senile dementia and may even prevent it. While senior citizens may benefit in special ways from drumming, they also draw from the same pool of advantages drumming provides for all of us.
Drumming with senior citizens is a wonderful way to help elders maintain social connections. It is common in our day and age for seniors to feel ostracized and left out. Our culture likes to separate people along age lines which can leave members of older generations feeling lonely, especially as their peers and spouses pass away. Drum circles are cropping up everywhere and are a great way for senior citizens to easily participate in social activities. Since drumming can be done while sitting down, it makes a perfect activity for older people who have reached a point of limited mobility. Also, the simplicity of drumming practically ensures that anyone can participate.
For that reason, drumming is a great way for seniors to fit some physical activity into their days. As an exercise, drumming can help keep the upper body strong. Another benefit is that it gets the circulation going a little faster, providing heart-healthy stimulation during a time of life that may be more sedentary. In addition to the body’s stimulation, there is also stimulation happening in the brain. Drumming with senior citizens helps create new neural pathways, leading to fewer neurological issues and perhaps an improvement in memory skills. Even senior citizens who cannot physically participate in drumming activities due to physical issues like arthritis still benefit neurologically from listening and participating in other ways.
Drumming is still being studied for how it affects people with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. So far, though, it has been shown to benefit these populations. If it can help people facing such serious ailments, it can definitely improve the lives of others. In addition to physical benefits, drumming with senior citizens can help facilitate feelings of connection that some seniors may not have felt in a long time. Just as for non-seniors, drumming can help awaken a spiritual side that leads to more love and compassion. The side effects of reduced anxiety and stress also apply to our older generations and that is something that will benefit all of us.