- Physical Benefits
- Relieves muscle tension and stiffness
- Reduces muscle spasms
- Promotes deeper and easier breathing
- Reduces blood pressure
- Helps relieve tension-related headaches
- Emotional Benefits
- Fosters peace of mind and sense of well being
- Promotes relaxation
- Helps relieve mental stress and anxiety
- Assists with behavior issues
- Satisfies needs for caring, nurturing touch
Our massage therapists can also help bed ridden patients improve blood circulation by massaging areas of the body that have been most recently under pressure and assisting with range of motion exercises to improve blood flow.
Our team will consult with the patient, the patient’s caregivers and the patient’s hospice physician to determine when this therapy will be more beneficial as part of their individualized plan of care.
Working with a physical therapist can help establish a physical therapy program that will meet the patient’s personal goals, which may range from control of bodily functions to increased or maintained independence. Some of the services that the hospice physical therapist will perform are:
- Improving coordination, flexibility, balance and strength
- Teaching techniques to support mobility and independence
- Making suggestions for lifestyle adaptations to fir the physical ability of the patients
- Helping to maintain mobility through the use of exercise and the appropriate use of assistive devices
- Stretching and exercising to help reduce pain and improve range of motion
Our physical therapist will perform an in-home evaluation of the patient to determine the best exercises and stretches to reduce pain and increase range of motion. Our certified nurse assistant will work with the patient on these exercises, as instructed by the physical therapist, to help the patient achieve their goals.
Because music is non-threatening, enjoyable and enhances brain function, people of diverse ages, backgrounds and abilities can gain therapeutic benefits through music therapy. When offered to those at the end of life, music therapy can bind with other healing efforts to address the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of hospice patients. While not appropriate for every hospice patient, music therapy can be surprisingly effective with an otherwise unresponsive patient.
Who Can Benefit From Music Therapy?
Music therapy provides the most benefit to patients who:
- Lack social interaction or sensory stimulation
- Experience pain and symptoms that are difficult to control through traditional medical interventions
- Feel anxious or are affected by dementia
- Look for a concrete way to cope or to define or articulate feelings or thoughts
- Face communication problems due to physical or intellectual impairments
- Need spiritual support, possibly involving other family members
- Enjoy the music to enhance their quality of life or maintain dignity
Music therapists draw from an extensive array of musical activities and interventions. For example, the therapist and patient might compose songs to express feelings, a patient might learn to play an instrument to improve fine motor skills or even use the instruments to cope with unspoken emotions and finally, the therapist may use music as a form of communication from a poorly responsive patient to their loved ones.
Many of our hospice patients have pet visit volunteers: loving animals – and their owners – who are trained to provide comfort and a special kind of friendship to anyone who can benefit. Hospice pet visits offer a welcome distraction from illness and help patients feel a little less lonely. They leave their patients – and anyone else lucky enough to be around – smiling, more relaxed and maybe even a little healthier.