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Over 65 and Music: Society is Aging

By 2050, the number of people aged 65 and older will exceed 1.6 billion. Music helps and enhances cognitive functions, preventing certain diseases. Society is aging, and according to the World Social Report 2023, by 2050 there will be over 1.6 billion people worldwide aged at least 65 years. Compared to 1950, the average age has increased by 25 years, and new measures are needed to cope with these epochal changes, which have brought implications both economically and socially. Music and social interaction are proving to be excellent allies in combating some cognitive diseases. Lino Di Lernia, co-founder of Over, explained: “Music greatly helps the elderly, as do social interactions and a sense of security.”

Society changes; society ages. According to the World Social Report 2023 titled “Leaving no one behind in an ageing world,” published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), by 2050, over 1.6 billion people worldwide will be at least 65 years old. Compared to 1950, the average age has increased by 25 years, and new measures are needed to cope with these epochal changes that have brought implications both economically and socially. Therefore, it is important to strengthen the well-being of the elderly as much as possible. One of the activities that has the most positive impact on the elderly is music. According to the World Health Organization, as life expectancy increases, it is estimated that by 2050 there will be 114 million people with dementia, a condition that is one of the leading causes of disability and dependence in the elderly population. However, proposing interventions that enhance cognitive functions or strategies that delay the onset of age-related disabilities greatly aids the health of the elderly. Memory is one of the cognitive abilities most affected by aging. The elderly experience a progressive decline in episodic memory, but emotions could function as enhancers and compensate for this deficit. Among the strategies that work best in this regard are learning new languages, physical activity, and music. In particular, music imposes unique demands on our nervous system and affects cortical and subcortical areas. Some studies show that listening to music improves cognitive abilities. Along with music, socialization and the certainty of living in a safe place are essential for the serenity of those over 65. Lino Di Lernia explained: “The elderly need to remain socially active, lead a serene life that offers them a sense of security and protection. Based on these considerations, the Over Residences project was born, smart homes that offer the elderly an environment tailored to their needs, with 24-hour operators available to assist them, from changing a burnt-out light bulb to finding a doctor if necessary. In short, a place where an elderly person can live peacefully, in the company of their peers, ready to welcome friends and family as if in a real home. And, let’s remember, all our homes are pet friendly.”

Following the philosophy of “creating the best possible conditions for independent elderly people to live well,” the idea of Sound Identity for the guests of Over Senior Residence was born. Three friends from the Roman residences – Mariolina and Giacinta from Over Senior Residence Laurentina, and Rossana from Aris Garden Senior Living – accepted the challenge of choosing the song that best represented their life in Over Senior Living. The three friends spent an entire (and fun) day in the recording studio where they listened to various songs to later associate with life in Over. Unanimously, the three friends chose music that conveyed a sense of tranquility, liveliness, and vibrancy. Music capable of fully representing the life of those over 65 today. The three friends explained: “Our intention is to make it understood that every age has something beautiful to live. Old age, as it is called, is a full moment in a person’s life. Time is slower, beats a calmer rhythm, but it beats, remembers, and lives!” The three friends explained that the Vivere Over project allowed them to meet and share rich, age-appropriate moments of life every day, making them feel happy, fulfilled, and very active, thanks to the many initiatives offered by the Residences. Among these initiatives, music therapy is often discussed, and the three friends did not hesitate when asked to participate in choosing the Sound Identity.

The study and creation of Sound Identity become the center of Over’s philosophy, the link between music and marketing, aimed at capturing attention, activating memory, and fostering identification towards a new way of living old age. “This is the first time ever in Italy,” added Lino di Lernia, “that Sound Identity has been conceived and applied to senior living. In this, too, we were the first, and I admit to a bit of legitimate pride. For years, we have contributed to creating the perfect living solution for seniors who want to enjoy their independence in a smart, fully equipped setting. Over Senior Residences have once again proven to be cutting-edge and futuristic. The Over Group is revolutionizing the way the elderly live in Italy, valuing their present by creating housing solutions and services for the third and fourth age.”

Founded in 2020, the Over Group was created in response to the needs of self-sufficient and partially self-sufficient over 65s, to find a place to live, not just age. Over is thus the first operator in Italy to create housing solutions and services for seniors where residents can maintain their habits, social interactions, and independence with constant, discreet, non-invasive protection supported by modern technology accessible to all. Over aims to promote a cultural change oriented towards improving the quality of life for those over 65. In fact, it wants to build a world where old age is not a limitation but a wealth.

Luca Mamiani, CEO and Artistic Director of Brand Mozart – Identità Sonore, explained: “Working with Mariolina, Giacinta, and Rossana was a true pleasure as well as an enriching experience. The three friends were very open and happy to personally choose the song that best represented them. We believe in the unparalleled power of sound to best represent the experience between brands and people. To do this, we create sound experiences of great emotional impact through a compositional style we define as eclectic modernism, based on a timbre of great harmonic proportion and with a strong typically Italian melodic taste that distinguishes us.”

Music, therefore, as Aleksandr Pushkin said, is one of life’s pleasures: “Among life’s pleasures, music is second only to love. But love itself is music.”

Maria Verderio – Journalist