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Music varies greatly from individual to individual, but some songs, musical groups, and music genres are special to different generations. Ask your senior for their favorite songs from their youth. Help them start their own “play list” by looking at their record/DVD collection or by searching music streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music or Internet Radio such as Pandora.

Music benefits seniors
Music is an amazing drug-free way to improve quality of life for older adults. Many studies show the benefits of music. It reduces stress, anxiety, and pain. It also improves immune function, helps memory, and encourages exercise.

Music reaches those with Alzheimer’s or dementia
Another benefit is that music helps people reminisce and go back and relate to emotions and experiences. That’s why it’s often recommended for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It reduces anxiety and agitation and boosts happiness and engagement. The documentary Alive Inside is a great example of how music can reach people with even very advanced dementia.

Top songs for every generation
In order to get the benefits, it’s important to play music that your senior enjoys and connects with. To help you find music seniors love, we’ve rounded up dozens of top hits. There’s something for every generation, starting with the 1930s for those who are 90 years old and going all the way to the songs 60 year olds will remember from their youth.

Here are some of the top artists and highly rated “best of” albums from each decade. Click the links to see the albums we suggest.

Top hits for 90+ year olds

Top hits for 80+ year olds

Top hits for 70+ year olds

Top hits for 60+ year olds

Top hits: Jazz

By Connie Chow, Contributing Writer and Founder of DailyCaring
Image: Homecare California
Photo of Connie Chow, founder of DailyCaring

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