The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has spent more than $2 million to promote how joining a community choir can be beneficial to older adults.

The government is currently financing a five-year project that is recruiting 450 “minority elders” to participate in choirs at senior centers in San Francisco.

The premise of the study, entitled, “Community Choirs to Promote Healthy Aging and Independence of Older Adults,” is that the country is facing a demographic crisis and needs to prepare for a larger elderly population.

“The United States is experiencing a rapid increase in the number of older adults. In 2009, there were 39.6 million individuals over age 65, and this number is expected to almost double by 2030,” the NIH grant states. “During the same time period, there will be an increase in the number of older adults with diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds who are at increased risk for poor health outcomes relative to non-minority elders.”

“Thus, there is an immediate need to identify cost-effective, widely applicable, and sustainable programs that promote health and well-being of older adults,” it said.

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