Academic journal article Australian Journal of Music Therapy

Music Therapy and Ageing Well

Academic journal article Australian Journal of Music Therapy

Music Therapy and Ageing Well

Article excerpt

As the global population ages, it is timely that Music Therapists engage in scholarly discussion about contributions we can make towards ageing well. Ageing is a natural progression; we all aim to experience it with optimal physical and emotional health. The concept of "ageing well" encompasses a spectrum of issues related to ageing, and strives to assist older people to live with optimal quality of life for as long as possible regardless of their health status. Music is widely recognised as a valuable resource for older adults, from those who enjoy active independent lifestyles to others who benefit from support for issues related to disease, impairment, isolation and loss. Music therapists have established strong research and clinical expertise in our work with older adults, and we are well placed to lead and educate other disciplines about the responsible and optimal use of music with this population. The four articles in this year's Special Edition of the AJMT add valuable contributions to this discourse.

Dementia and its accompanying symptoms, present a significant challenge to the concept of ageing well. Accordingly, three articles in this edition focus attention on the impact and influences of music therapy for people with dementia. Invited authors, Hanne Mette Ridder, a world-renowned expert in music therapy and dementia, and Elisabeth Gummesen present a case study illustrating an improvisation method, termed extemporization, which they used to assist an elderly man with dementia and global aphasia to engage in meaningful communicative dialogue. …

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