Many of my posts have focused around music therapy with children with special needs and adults in long term care facilities. When I was browsing through past blog posts, I realized that I have left out an important group!
Elders at home!
Your mother, Julia, still lives at home. She had some medical issues but utilizes the services of a home health company so that she can continue living at home. You are both happy that she is able to stay at home, but even with the transportation assistance, she isn’t able to get out like she used to, and when she is home, she’s not able to do all of the things that used to keep her mind off of her hip pain.
This is just one fabricated example, but music therapy has the opportunity to add enrichment to Julia’s at home life by providing her the opportunity to maintain her cognitive skills, share life experiences, express herself emotionally, decrease her perception of physical pain, and overall improve her mood and outlook.
A music therapist providing services to someone like Julia would engage her in playing songs that are familiar to her and enabling her to successfully play those songs as well. Discussion about the song’s history, as well as her history with the song (where were you when you first heard this song?) can help to maintain cognitive skills. Julia might make music spontaneously with her therapist, based on her mood, the weather, or on the dynamic of their relationship. Julia and her music therapist might even choreograph a dance that enables Julia to complete movements successfully, but also to avoid injury.
If Julia was placed on hospice care at any point, she would also already have formed a relationship with her music therapist and have a smoother transition to facing the end of life. The music therapy interventions that would be utilized would be somewhat familiar, and the process of meeting a new caregiver and creating rapport all over would be avoided.
There are lots of similar scenarios in which music therapy can be of use in the home. Brainstorm your own, give them a name and a history, and share in the comments!