The indistinguishable hum..Music as mihygge in Geriatrics

Music is music to the ears, all ages love music. Music is divine, knows no barriers and music is mihygge! While our world changes, there is music everywhere, in the tiniest of the ants streamlining to their nest, to the strum of a guitar being played in the town square. There is music for the mind, the soul, the being, the heart, the work, and eternal music is bliss for all times. 

While music is omnipresent, music is also therapy for many. I remember the times when my parents would sing and do a dance, my father would create songs, music to soothe our sister or celebrate our little victories. As a Geriatrician previously, music in our office was enjoyed by all. We had elderly who used to hum as they entered our practice and sing a tune as they left, one particular man with end-stage cancer pleasantly carried out this routine. When he passed away, this music void affected all of us, made us rethink the power of music in his life and the longing it left in ours. 

There are also instances where I saw firsthand the power of music in our elderly’s lives whether at their own home or at a senior living. What mattered was that moment filled the hearts and made one forget themselves, like we say “sing and dance like no one is watching “! 

Music can be beneficial in many ways, some visible and some not. How then can we make this center stage of our lives, our health, our wellbeing? It can be an effective medicine for communication, treatment, development, understanding…

Here are some ways to bring music as mihygge to our elderly in no special order: 

  1. All music is music, so no music is not music, because culture plays a big role. 
  2. Carving out music time in daily schedule of an elderly
  3. Educating elderly about the latest apps or how to use smart phone or computer to access music: through technology literacy
  4.  Understanding cultures, heritage and what kinds of music people enjoy at what times of the year
  5. Using instruments / letting elderly use piano, guitar etc in senior living or at home to play music
  6. Bringing musicians to play at senior living or at gatherings
  7. Help local children’s groups to come watch an elderly concert at senior living or community and vice versa
  8. Inviting an elderly to teach a class on music notes, literature, give insights, tutor
  9. Encouraging elderly to write and make music at any age
  10. Taking elderly to concerts, opera, music festivals. 
  11. Adding music as a need on the monthly calendar and finding ways to incorporate those
  12. Empowering families of elderly to bring them CD’s they could listen to, or send taped music to them through their smart phone.
  13. Using music as greeting card for various events, celebrations etc
  14. Playing music of all genres instead of one.. to help educate our elderly continue their learning
  15. Soothing music for end of life care as therapy
  16. Listening to music as therapy during stressful times
  17. Providing access to music through computer stations, headsets
  18. Applauding all hobbies, including music, our elderly love 
  19. Thinking of music as form of communication, something to talk about to begin a conversation perhaps with someone who has just moved in to a senior living or hired a new caregiver
  20. Lastly believing in the power of music and helping all others do as well..

Music is a magic manifold, music is infinite, music does not know any barriers in language, emotion, attitude, race, educational status, etc. While we do everything to bring music to many in our lives and to ourselves, there is always more that we can do, the above list is incomplete for our world is massive, every corner has music of its own. We thank everyone who follows our blogs and would love to know your thoughts and ideas if you might share. Until next time… make music our mihygge, for mihygge is music!

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