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What’s the best part of being a Music Therapist at Hope Healthcare?
“For me, it’s being able to provide joy, comfort, and humanity to those in their final stages of life with music. Music is such an important part of the human experience, and it’s all around us. Even on the days I feel like I’m not making an impact, patients and families prove me wrong every time by their responses and their thankfulness.”
“The people I work with don’t always see what we do as “therapy” or “work.” In fact, they will often experience a greater benefit because they see our time together as something enjoyable to do. They stay engaged the entire time.”
“I’m fulfilled by this work because it actually makes a positive difference in people’s lives – at a time when they especially need that difference.”
Why did you choose a career as a Music Therapist?
“One day, I was watching ‘The Music Never Stopped’ – a movie about a family who found their estranged son with a brain tumor, unable to make new memories. Through music therapy and a Beatles song, the son suddenly came to life. He was walking, talking, and emerged from his vegetative state. He could recall everything that happened. The movie highlights his journey of recovery and rekindling family relationships through music. That was my inspiration. I always loved helping others, and I didn’t want to give up music, so I decided to pursue this path.”
“While I studied music in college, I realized I could use my talents with my naturally compassionate personality traits to help others and make a difference. The coolest thing is that I get to use a combination of my abilities to help people feel better.”
What do you wish people knew about Music Therapy?
“We’re not the ‘entertainment.’ Music Therapy is a clinical and evidence-based profession that requires an extensive amount of training and board certification. Our work can be seen as entertaining to our patients, families, and the public, but we’re doing much more than that. Like taking the wrong medication, the wrong type of music at the wrong time can cause restlessness, the resurfacing of repressed trauma, anger, anxiety, or sadness. We do so much more than ‘playing music.'”
“For the person receiving therapy, it’s not about performance or ability. I’m not a music teacher. I explain that I use music to reach non-musical goals. People start to understand that the music is just the vessel – not the end goal of our interaction.”
What are some of your favorite memories of Music Therapy?
“A caregiver hadn’t slept well the previous night. She was restless, agitated, and speaking nonsensically. As soon as I began to provide soft, soothing music, she fell – and stayed – asleep in less than three minutes. That was my shortest session ever.”
“I played hymns for a patient to help recreate the experience of going to church. He would always tell me how he felt at peace and how much he loved my visits. It warmed my heart.”
“A woman who was over 100 years old will always sing with me, not matter how tired she was. She could recite almost every hymn with no problems. It was incredible how much she remembered.”
“A women who was rapidly declining wanted to complete a book about her end of life journey, but she was unable to write. With her permission, I helped her record an interview. She spent over an hour talking about her life. After she died, I was about to combine her audio narration and relevant music to create a keepsake CD. Her family had no idea. When I presented it to them, they were blown away by everything she talked about. The visit was filled with tears, laughter, and thankfulness all around.”
“One of the most powerful moments is doing the large group drum circle at Rainbow Trails Camp. Kids of all ages are bonding over a common activity by campfire! In the Hope Kids Care program, some children are able to communicate through music without words. One of my patients interacts through a tablet, and we find ways to “talk” about what he likes. Others will learn to communicate, interact, and enjoy music with their family. I helped fulfill a child’s wish to play with his school’s marching band – then helped him participate in the Edison Festival of Lights parade too.”
“I enjoyed the work I did during the early days of the COVID pandemic. Some of our residents’ only interactions – outside of medical treatments – were these enjoyable experiences with music therapy. They would light up being able to sing with someone and share their memories. One time, a son and daughter were visiting, but their mom was unresponsive. I started to sing some of her favorite songs, and she came alive to interact with her family for a brief moment.”
About Music Therapy at Hope Healthcare
Music Therapy is a part of the comforting, compassionate care provided in many of Hope’s innovative programs. People of all ages and of all ability levels can benefit from these therapeutic interventions. No prior training, musical abilities, or talents are necessary to participate.
To support Hope’s mission of providing exceptional care and support to everyone in need, please consider making a donation at MoreHope.org.We asked Hope’s talented Music Therapists to tell us more about their unique specialty and share their heartwarming stories. Read more for a fascinating glimpse into this wonderful therapeutic intervention.
As individuals advance in age, maintaining an active social life becomes increasingly vital for their overall well-being. Socialization, often overlooked as a crucial component of health, holds profound benefits, particularly for senior citizens. While physical health receives considerable attention, the significance of social engagement cannot be understated, as it positively impacts mental, emotional, and even physical health outcomes. In this article, we delve into the manifold advantages of socialization for senior citizens and underscore its indispensable role in enhancing their quality of life.1. Mental Stimulation and Cognitive HealthEngaging in social activities stimulates cognitive function, promoting mental acuity and preserving cognitive abilities. Regular conversations, intellectual discussions, and participation in group activities challenge the mind, potentially reducing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Social interaction encourages seniors to stay mentally active, enhancing memory retention, problem-solving skills, and overall cognitive performance.2. Emotional Well-Being and Mood EnhancementSocialization fosters emotional support networks, offering seniors companionship, empathy, and a sense of belonging. Meaningful connections with peers alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are prevalent concerns among older adults. Sharing experiences, laughter, and emotional support with friends and acquaintances create a nurturing environment that bolsters emotional resilience and promotes a positive outlook on life. Moreover, social engagement acts as a buffer against stress, anxiety, and depression, contributing to enhanced emotional well-being.3. Physical Health and LongevitySurprisingly, socialization can have tangible effects on physical health and longevity. Active social lifestyles often correlate with healthier habits, including regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adherence to medical regimens. Additionally, social networks provide avenues for recreational activities such as dancing, walking groups, or sports, promoting physical fitness and mobility. Studies have shown that socially connected seniors tend to have lower rates of chronic diseases, reduced inflammation, and even enhanced immune function, leading to a longer and healthier life.4. Sense of Purpose and Meaningful EngagementMaintaining social connections gives seniors a sense of purpose and involvement in their communities. Volunteer opportunities, participation in clubs or religious organizations, and mentoring younger generations offer avenues for meaningful engagement. Contributing to society and feeling valued for their knowledge and experiences reaffirm seniors' sense of identity and self-worth. These activities imbue life with purpose beyond retirement, fostering a fulfilling and satisfying lifestyle.5. Cognitive Reserve and ResilienceSocialization contributes to the development of cognitive reservethe brain's ability to withstand neurological damage and age-related decline. By continually engaging in social interactions, seniors build cognitive resilience, enabling them to adapt to challenges and maintain mental agility as they age. The diverse cognitive stimuli provided by social engagement help preserve brain structure and function, mitigating the effects of aging and reducing the risk of cognitive impairment.ConclusionIn conclusion, socialization is not merely a recreational pursuit but an indispensable component of healthy aging for senior citizens. Its multifaceted benefits encompass mental stimulation, emotional support, physical well-being, and a sense of purpose, all of which contribute to an enhanced quality of life. Recognizing the significance of social engagement, communities and caregivers must facilitate opportunities for seniors to connect with others and participate in meaningful activities. By prioritizing socialization, we can empower older adults to lead fulfilling, vibrant lives well into their golden years.
Golden Dreams: A Motivational Journey for 2024 and BeyondJanuary 1, 2024 | Brian Parman, Director, The Point & Pavilion | CC Young Senior Livingby Brian Parman, Director of The Point and PavilionAs we stand on the precipice of a new year, let us embrace the mantra of Go for the Gold in 2024 with renewed vigor and determination. Age is but a number, and for mature adults aged 55 or better, the golden years are an opportunity to shine brighter than ever before.In the race of life, the gold we seek isnt just a tangible medal but the fulfillment of our dreams, the realization of our passions, and the joy found in everyday victories. The year 2024 holds the promise of untapped potential, where the wisdom gained over the years converges with the boundless possibilities that lie ahead.Each day is a chance to redefine what it means to be golden. Its a time to set audacious goals and pursue them with the tenacity of a champion. Whether its a long-held aspiration, a career shift, or a personal milestone, let no dream be too grand, for the golden age is the perfect canvas to paint the masterpiece of your life.Consider the wealth of experiences youve accumulated, the lessons learned, and the resilience forged through challenges. These are the tools that will propel you forward in the pursuit of your goals. Embrace the idea that, like fine wine, life only gets better with time, and you are at the peak of your vintage.In 2024, let passion be your compass. What sets your heart on fire? What dreams have you deferred for too long? Now is the time to fan those flames, to rediscover the zeal that may have dimmed over the years. The pursuit of your passions is the true gold, enriching your life and leaving a legacy for generations to come.Connect with the community around you; share your stories, mentor the younger generation, and foster relationships that add warmth to your golden years. In these connections, youll find strength, inspiration, and the shared joy of pursuing dreams together.Remember, age is not a barrier; it is a badge of honor. It signifies a life well-lived, a journey filled with resilience, growth, and triumphs. As you step into 2024, carry this badge proudly and let it be a testament to the richness of your experiences and the potential that still lies within.So, go for the gold in 2024 with a heart full of ambition, a mind open to possibilities, and a spirit unyielding in its pursuit of dreams. The stage is set for you to shine, to savor the golden moments, and to create a legacy that will glisten for generations to come. Embrace the journey, savor the victories, and let the golden age be your most radiant chapter yet.Join my friend Donna Collins and me at The Point Auditorium at 3:00pm on Wednesday, January 24, for hands-on Vision Board Workshop for 2024. We will guide you in creating a visual representation of your dreams and aspirations.A vision board is a powerful tool that helps you define and manifest your dreams by visually articulating your goals. It serves as a daily reminder, aligning your intentions with your actions and propelling you toward the fulfillment of your aspirations. Together, lets craft a vision for the year ahead that inspires and propels you to new heights.
In the dynamic landscape of the modern age, seniors are at the forefront of a transformative movement, boldly titled "Embracing Freedom." This movement challenges traditional stereotypes associated with aging, portraying seniors as dynamic contributors to society. Breaking free from outdated notions, today's seniors are redefining their narrative by actively engaging in a spectrum of activities, from pursuing long-held passions to embracing cutting-edge technologies. By doing so, they not only enrich their own lives but also serve as inspirational beacons for younger generations, fostering a culture that values the continuous growth and wisdom of individuals across all age groups.At the core of the Senior Movement lies a celebration of newfound freedom. With extended life expectancies and improved healthcare, seniors are seizing the opportunity to explore uncharted territories, travel to distant lands, embark on encore careers, and immerse themselves in lifelong learning. The advent of technology further amplifies this newfound freedom, connecting seniors with a global community, breaking down geographical barriers, and providing tools to enhance their autonomy. This movement is not just an individual endeavor; it's a collective shift that emphasizes community, connection, and the shared experiences of seniors, creating a vibrant tapestry of life that challenges preconceived notions about aging in the modern era.