Community Choirs Can Be Social Salvation for Seniors
FRIDAY, Nov. 9, 2018 -- Belonging to a community choir may be the best weapon against loneliness for seniors, a new study suggests.
Researchers created community choirs for nearly 400 English- and Spanish-speaking participants at 12 senior centers in San Francisco.
The choirs were led by professional choir directors and accompanists. The songs were culturally selected for each site, appropriate for older adults with varying singing abilities, and challenging enough to require growth and mastery over time.
The 90-minute choir sessions included informal public performances.
After six months, choir members reported significant improvements in loneliness levels and interest in life, but not much change in mental or physical abilities or in health care costs, according to the researchers.
"We were a little surprised not to see improvements in cognitive and physical function, especially because the literature, although small, suggested there should be improvements," said study author Julene Johnson, associate dean for research at the University of California, San Francisco's School of Nursing.
More research is needed to determine how choirs improve seniors' well-being and the potential long-term health effects, she added.
"Our current health and social systems are not prepared to help support our rapidly increasing population of older adults," Johnson said in a university news release.
"There's a high percentage who experience loneliness and social isolation, and depression also is relatively high," she said. "There's a need to develop novel approaches to help older adults stay engaged in the community and also stay connected."
Previous studies have shown that social isolation and depression can worsen poor health.
The study was published Nov. 9 in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.
© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Posted: November 2018
Read this next
THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2020 -- You might be onto something if you suspect your mental and physical health declined during the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year. Stay-at-home orders...
THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2020 -- Many women have depression symptoms after giving birth, but for some postpartum depression hangs on for years, a U.S. government study finds. Of nearly...
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 28, 2020 -- If you're the parent of a teen, you had plenty to deal with before the pandemic began -- dramatic sighs, slamming doors, eye-rolling -- and that was...
More News Resources
- FDA Medwatch Drug Alerts
- Daily MedNews
- News for Health Professionals
- New Drug Approvals
- New Drug Applications
- Drug Shortages
- Clinical Trial Results
- Generic Drug Approvals
- Monthly Update Archive
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.