When it comes to aging many studies focus on the medical advancements contributing to longer life expectancy and consequently other studies focus on how to best care for the aging population. It’s easy to see the correlation, isn’t it? And, there’s no doubt about it, the population is aging. According to Social Security a man reaching 65 today can expect to live until age 84 and a woman 86.
And, those are the averages:
- 1 out of 4 people reaching 65 today will live past 90
- 1 out of 10 people reaching 65 today will live past 95
I’m sure you’ll agree with my thinking. If we are going to live longer, let’s live the best lives we can. What is music to my ears, no pun intended, is that research is being done at UC San Francisco on the power of singing in a choir as a health benefit for older adults.
The UCSF research is being conducted over the next four years with a dozen choirs titled Community of Voices. The research will be the first of its kind to quantify the cognitive, physical and overall health benefits of participating in the choir.
From a qualitative perspective, watch the award-winning documentary Young @ Heart (which I love), it’s easy to see that singing in a choir has health benefits. The choir members are a community. They challenge themselves physically and mentally to learn new songs, travel and perform. Check out one of their unexpected and moving performances.
Maybe in the future doctors will write prescriptions to join a choir to cure what ails us.