Elderly Music and Aging Parents - What Elderly Parents Listened to.

Elderly Music and Aging Parents – What Music Elderly Parents listen to.

“I wonder, what kind of music do my elderly parents listen to when they are in the mood for music........". "That's the $64,000 question” (an old saying from the time).

Most of the time a short trip to the living room, den or garage may hold the key to elderly music. Sometimes there can be a shelf or shelves full of the answer…… long playing (LP) albums from Tommy Dorsey, Nat King Cole or many others.

At other times a quick look reveals nothing as the "Stereophonic" player was sold with the LP's long ago, thrown or given away to a neighbor as a moving away gesture.

Elderly Music Elderly Couple Listening to Music with Ear Buds

As a caregiver to elderly parents, it is important to help them be as comfortable as possible when they are becoming more sedentary and listening and cognitive skills may not be what they were. Crafts for the elderly parent or games for the elderly can be enhanced with music from their era.

Keep in mind that “their era” could encompass several decades of time, say from the 30’s,40’s, 50’s, and early 60’s.

A good game of Sudoku, bridge, canasta or putting together a puzzle while listening to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, by The Andrew Sisters or Sentimental Journey by Les Brown may be just the thing to make the game complete or the day go by. Personal preference plays a large role in the choosing of the selections to play.

Some love the selections below and will be satisfied, others will want more “modern” music like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin or Tony Bennett. Do not hesitate to ask as memories of one song or album may disturb or otherwise be objectionable to the elderly parent. Most elderly music however, will be a soothing and positive experience on its own or in combination with games for the elderly.

A partial list of Swing Era Hits include:

New San Antonio Rose – Bob Wills

White Christmas – Bing Crosby

Body and Soul – Coleman Hawkins

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy – The Andrews Sisters

Deep in the Heart of Texas – Alvino Ray

Oklahoma! – From the Musical

Goodnight Irene – Leadbelly

Salt Peanuts – Dizzy Gillespie

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah – Johnny Mercer

Elderly Music Elderly Woman Listening to Music with Headphones

This Land is your Land – Woody Guthrie

Move on Up a Little Higher – Mahalia Jackson

(Ghost) Riders in the Sky – Vaughn Monroe

Also, from the 1950’s:

Unforgettable – Nat King Cole

When I Fall in Love – Doris Day

Winter Wonderland – Perry Como

Wish You Were Here – Eddie Fisher

April in Portugal – Les Baxter

Too Old to Cut the Mustard – Rosemary Clooney

For a great website that has a large list of examples of music (some with the words typed out to read/sing along with) of that era and many more please see Elderly Music Resources


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