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Music Therapy Creates Meaningful Interactions

Submitted by:  Melissa Lindley, Community Outreach Coordinator, Willamette Valley Hospice.

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Music Therapy Creates Meaningful Interactions

Submitted by:  Melissa Lindley, Community Outreach Coordinator, Willamette Valley Hospice.

Many hospices utilize music therapists to work with patients and families dealing with the challenges and stress that come with an end-of-life diagnosis.  Music therapy helped relieve the restlessness hospice patient DeAnn Bryan was experiencing due to Alzheimer’s disease.  As her illness progressed, her plan of care changed including the goal of music therapy – which had become an adaptive communication method for DeAnn and her daughter Amelia, and granddaughter Maya.  Watch this short video about how music therapy has helped DeAnn and her family.

Jillian Hicks, Music Therapist says, “Providing music therapy for DeAnn enabled her to access the parts of herself that were healthy and intact. Music has a seemingly “magical” capacity to reach people at the heart and physical level. But it’s not magic…it’s where science meets the soul. Music is processed globally in the brain, which enabled DeAnn to interact, calm, and have increase awareness. As the therapeutic relationship developed, the focus of sessions became on providing meaningful interaction for DeAnn, Amelia, and Maya as well as verbal therapy for Amelia to process her mother’s decline, the struggle of this in between time, and to highlight Amelia’s resiliency in the constant love and care she provided her mother. We often laughed about DeAnn’s stubbornness and the similar traits that her granddaughter, Maya, started displaying as she went out of her baby stage into toddler-hood. The three had such a deep connection-three generations of women. It was an honor to witness, collaborate, and support this dynamic family.”

DeAnn died February 23, 2016 at the age of 60.

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