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Songs of Transition for the Dying: Music Therapy in Hospice

music therapy in hospice

Providing comfort to patients during the final stages of life is a primary component of hospice care in Las Vegas. Yet, there comes a time when even words are not always enough to express one’s emotions. Since the earliest days of our history, music has been used as a therapeutic tool that promotes self-expression while tapping into the rhythms that add value to life.

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Today, music is being used in hospice care to help promote an environment of restoration and healing. Families who are interested in enhancing their loved one’s care can tap into the power of music by understanding its importance as a form of therapy for those who are in an end-of-life transition.


Music As A Form Of Therapy For Home Hospice?

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is an important part of the healthcare field. It is designed to meet the physical, cognitive and emotional needs of people at every stage in life. For individuals who are in home hospice, music can serve as a way to transcend both the physical and emotional pain that they are coping with every day. It also provides an opportunity for socialization that people of all different abilities can participate in as a group. This can further enhance family bonds.


How Can Music Enhance My Loved One’s Quality of Life?

In a home hospice environment, music provides many benefits for improving your loved one’s quality of life. Listening to music is calming. Many patients find that beating out a rhythm on a drum or writing lyrics provides an emotional release that eases negative emotions such as anger and frustration.

Physically, music offers a form of exercise for those who may not be able to participate in other activities. People in hospice care also find that music can transport them to happier times. For example, a senior who listens to a song from their youth may be flooded with memories that they thought were long gone.


Are There Other Benefits of Using Music In Hospice Care?

Music therapy in home hospice care goes much deeper than just giving someone a way to feel good. When families participate in music therapy, it can open up powerful discussions about difficult topics.

Forgiveness, acceptance, and love are all expressed through music, and many families go on to continue to use music therapy as they work through the grieving process. Music has also been used as a natural form of pain management and to offer a positive distraction during uncomfortable procedures.


Related: How to Cope with Anticipatory Grief During Hospice Process


What Types of Music Experiences Should We Provide?

It is important to understand that a person can participate in music therapy regardless of their musical background. Simply listening to music promotes interactions within the brain that enhance a person’s cognitive abilities and generates feelings of relaxation.

Breath work is another music skill that is offered to patients who struggle with stress or difficulty with respiration. Some patients enjoy participating in creating their own music by writing lyrics or using instruments. The music that is created often serves as a lasting legacy for families of their loved one’s achievements even in the final stages of their life.

The healing nature of music allows it to blend seamlessly into any home hospice care program. Writing songs, singing and tapping out a rhythm all work to bring healing when words are not enough alone. By working together with your home hospice agency, you can add a comforting touch to your loved one’s care while creating beautiful memories of the experiences your family shared with your loved one through music.

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