Many people think of drumming as a youthful or lively activity, found amongst younger generations with able bodies and minds, but drumming has numerous benefits for older citizens as well. In fact, in senior citizen centers and assisted living facilities, drumming programs are being included in the various activities offered, allowing our elders to continue enjoying the music and rhythms of life, through the eyes, ears and hands of wisdom.
Drumming helps stimulate the mind while presenting rhythm and energy that can help seniors cope with diseases or illnesses. Studies have shown that drumming helps with things such as Parkinson's, dementia, and Alzheimer's. The stimulation that drumming provides to the brain can help prevent these illnesses from getting exponentially worse. Not to mention the physical benefits that drumming also provides for people of all ages, creating a social way for people to exercise physically and mentally.
Drumming also helps create connections with others in the senior community, helping to curb the isolation that often plagues those with limited mobility or resources for a vibrant social life. It is common for people of older age to feel cut off from normalcy because of how their age and limits. Drumming is an easy way to keep a connection and reduce the stress or anxiety felt from these limitations. Seniors are able to be active in a social environment without the pressure of "keeping up" with others. Drumming on a djembe or shaking a shekere within a group helps encourage social connections among the older generation, as well as establishing communication with people in the community, regardless of age.
All generations have put their own stamp on music, but music itself remains constant in our lives. We rely on it to relate and help us cope. We maintain this connection improving and working on skills, like drumming. This has not only helped us, but many before us, with countless things that we may feel we cannot overcome. It brings us together and not only improves physical health, but mental as well. Drumming offers a way to sit down and reignite the social connectedness we all had once felt with either those younger or older than us.