Join the Choir, Elderly Can Live Happier

The elderly (elderly) need to do some activities or hobbies that can make them still enjoy life and be happy. In the end, it can also extend their life expectancy. Well, one of the activities that is said to have many benefits is to join the choir. What are they?

For a long time, singing was known to have several benefits for most people. According to Dr. Andika Widyatama, one of the benefits is stress relief.

“Singing can have a decreased effect on the hormone cortisol associated with stress conditions in the body. In addition, when singing, the body will also release endorphins which can improve mood and release the hormone oxytocin which can relieve anxiety in you,” said Dr. Andika

Try to imagine if this was done by the elderly. Of course they can get a variety of positive benefits from singing activities, including feeling happy and happy.

Singing in a choir is great for the elderly

Apparently, this is also in line with a study in the United States (US). The results of the study mentioned that singing, especially in the choir, can provide psychological benefits for the elderly.

The researchers initially hoped the elderly who participated in the choir would experience an increase in people’s thinking skills and physical fitness, but that was not the case. The researchers actually get results related to feelings of loneliness and life expectancy of the elderly.

This research was conducted at 12 elderly centers serving diverse racial and ethnic communities around San Francisco, USA. Half of the elderly centers were chosen randomly for the choir program.

In the end, 208 people participated in the choir and 182 in the control group. None of them ever sing regularly with other groups.

Overall, the average age of the elderly studied was 71 years, and the majority of participants were women. Two-thirds are also reported to come from racial or ethnic minority backgrounds.

In addition, 41 percent of participants were born outside the US, 20 percent reported financial difficulties, 25 percent reported good or bad health, and 60 percent had at least two chronic medical conditions.

Then, about 1 in 4 total participants experience depression. However, the authors report in the journal Innovation in Aging that none of the elderly in this study had cognitive problems.

More than half of patients (55 percent) had never before sang in a choir as adults. More than half of patients (56 percent) also rated their music skills as poor or mediocre.

In total, each choir met 23 times over 6 months. The choir was led by a professional conductor who led the session, including physical activities such as walking to various parts of the room to sing.

As a result, there were no significant differences related to tests of cognitive function, lower body strength, and overall psycho-social health.

However, the researchers found a significant increase in the two components of psycho-social evaluation among choir participants. People in this group no longer feel lonely and they are more interested in life.

Meanwhile, the elderly in the control group did not see major changes related to loneliness. Their interest in life actually declined slightly.

“Because music (and singing) is an integral part of most cultures, and is relatively easy and inexpensive to do, choirs have the potential to improve the well-being of a large number of elderly people,” lead researcher Julene Johnson of the University of California, San Francisco told Reuters.

As is known, older people who feel lonely are more likely to experience decreased motor function, poor physical well-being, and even death. The research led by Johnson further strengthens old research that shows that music can give the elderly the opportunity to stay active and involved.

However, Johnson stressed that the choir was indeed not worldwide. There are some countries that are not familiar with this.

Thus, singing together becomes the key. There is no need for a choir on a large scale, the elderly simply sing along with a few other people. It was, that was enough to keep them able to enjoy life and be happy.