A Music Therapy Case Study | Joshua Gilbert, MT-BC
Throughout life, song can positively affect us both physically and emotionally. It influences bodily functions that we believe are beyond our control, such as heart rate, blood pressure and release of the body’s natural pain relief chemicals. Music therapy offers significant benefits for patients, caregivers and families. We offer it as part of our hospice services.
In a case study conducted (by Joshua Gilbert) on the impact of music therapy over a four-month period, with an older adult in hospice care, results exhibited significant signs of improvement in the following categories:
Quality of life
Through involvement in music-based interventions, these improvements allowed the patient to benefit from music therapy during hospice care. The patient often smiled, laughed and made positive comments about the music. After participating in deep breathing exercises and harmonica playing, the patient’s breathing became deeper and less labored. Additionally, the patient developed increased confidence in improvising harmonica music, and more open about expressing her emotions surrounding death.
Despite patient status or level of consciousness, music therapists can console and comfort them through music. Research has shown hearing is the last outside sensation that registers with a dying patient. Let us help your loved one make this experience more soothing.
To read the full case study, please click here.
Grieving for loved ones who are experiencing a life-limiting illness is natural for families and friends. This process can often begin before death occurs. AT Home Health & Hospice Care Bereavement Services are available for those who are coping with losing a loved one. Our staff is committed to working closely with families who are working through the grieving process. Our services include:
Supportive phone calls
In-home support sessions
Our support is available to families for up to 13 months following the loss of a loved one. We also host monthly support group sessions at our AT Home Health & Hospice Care locations. Support groups offer families and friends a platform to share their experience with others in the community who are facing similar situations.
Our services don’t stop once your loved one has passed. We are committed to helping families and friends of patients even after they are gone. Please contact us for more information about our Bereavement Services.No one ever intends for tragic things like cancer to enter their lives. Often times, it comes on suddenly and acts quickly, leaving people and their loved ones with tough decisions to make about their futures. Kelly is one of these people. In early 2015, her husband was diagnosed with cancer. He endured months of treatment, but a few days before Christmas that year, he took a turn for the worse. They knew he didn’t have very much longer to live, so he and Kelly decided for him to go home where he could spend Christmas and live out his days in a familiar environment surrounded by family and friends. That’s when Kelly recognized they needed hospice care.
At first, the family chose the hospice recommended by their hospital, but it turned out to be a terrible fit and ended up doing more harm than good. Eventually, Kelly was told about AT Hospice, and decided to give them a chance. AT Hospice’s amazing team of professionals stepped in, and the family noticed an immediate improvement! The nurses, aides, social workers and chaplains all demonstrated true competence and concern, and Kelly could finally relax, knowing that her husband and family would be taken care of. Throughout the rest of Kelly’s husband’s life, the AT Hospice team could be reached whenever they were needed, jumped at the chance to help out in any way, and helped the family prepare for what was to come. “They were angels,” Kelly said.
Kelly’s experience with AT Hospice was so positive that when her mom’s condition with Alzheimer’s began to worsen, and it became evident that she would need hospice care, Kelly made sure to call AT Hospice again. The response from the company was “We wouldn’t have it any other way.” As before, AT Hospice staff demonstrated their true desire and ability to help. Their relationship with Kelly and her family strengthened, and they were there to help Kelly through the shock of another loss. Kelly noted that the nurse was at the bedside talking to her mother after she passed, showing the type of exceptional care and regard that the AT Hospice team made part of their daily routine.
“I couldn’t begin to thank them enough,” Kelly said. To this day, she still keeps in contact with many of the people who helped care for her mother and husband. One AT Hospice staff member even adopted Kelly’s mom’s dog, giving her a loving home and keeping Kelly updated with stories about the dog’s adventures. People from the company continue to show support as Kelly begins to transition into a new part of her life. When she comes across people in need of hospice services, Kelly recommends AT Hospice. “There are a lot of hospice companies out there,” Kelly stated, “but this one is definitely the best.”AT Home Care is on the cutting edge when it comes to new technology and educating their clinicians. We are extremely proud of our therapy using Neural Muscular Electrical Stimulation technology (Vital Stim) which is used for people with difficulty swallowing. Vital Stim uses small electrical currents to stimulate the muscles responsible for swallowing. At the same time, trained occupational therapists help patients ”re-educate” their muscles through rehabilitation therapy. It is used often with patients who are suffering from a stroke or other neuromuscular disorder. There are patients who have had PEG tube feeding for years who never thought they would swallow again. At the least, the therapy allows them a “pleasure feed” so they may enjoy the taste of food again. The progress of this occupational therapy has increase dramatically over the last two years. AT Home Care’s occupational therapists say their reward is almost as great as their patients.
AT Home Care & Hospice – Fredericksburg and Tri-Cities has been recognized by Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) as a “Superior Performer” for achieving an overall caregiver and family satisfaction score that ranked in the top 20% of all eligible SHP clients for the 2021 calendar year.
AT Home Care & Hospice is an established, full-service Virginia home health and hospice agency that provides a superior quality of services in a caring manner.