Using Music Therapy in Senior Home Care

Some of our Homecare West caregivers are using music therapy as part a customized senior home care solution. The use of music in helping clients attain their best state of health is highly remarkable. Music therapy through the years has been proven to be an effective medium in assisting clients in feeling better. It can be achieved by listening to songs, playing instruments, playing a music video, singing songs and all other facets of music. I am lucky to learn the basics of music therapy as part of my university days in studying nursing. We’ve been exposed to use music therapy on special children, normal adolescents, psychiatric patients and seniors. I often use it in dealing with my clients as part of their senior home care service. Let me share with you my story of music therapy with one of our Homecare West clients. One Sunday night, before I left the house of our client HC, I asked her what her favorite song is. She told me it’s “Away in a Manger” and I was surprised as it is a song related to advent season. Then she sang the first stanza of the song. I was amazed to hear her sing with the correct lyrics given that the client has memory problems. At this time, I did not sing with her as I was not that familiar with the song. I told the client that I will study the song first and then we can sing it together the following week.

At my Saturday shift, after the client ate her dinner, I played the song in YouTube with the lyrics on it. Upon playing the song, I saw how excited the client was of the idea that we’re going to sing her favorite song together. HC and I sang the song together several times. I can’t count how many times I replayed the song as the client was really into it. I tried to record our voices singing together but my recording skills was not that good. The client was singing with me and she enjoyed the music very much. At some point, it calmed her and made her more relaxed. Every time the song finished playing, she kept saying thank you to me for entertaining her. I asked her what she remembered while we’re playing the song and she told me that she used to sing it when she was a child. She said that their Christmas is incomplete without playing this song. She also mentioned that it is a really old song and she was also happy that she still memorized some of the song lyrics. With a smile on our faces, we kept singing “Away in a Manger” until the end of my shift.

Sometimes when the client gets restless and anxious about a lot of things, I use music to help them relax. During these times, I play a very relaxing, instrumental music. I was taught what kind of music to play that will assist clients in what they’re going through at the moment. Our client HC mentioned that she liked the music as it had a calming effect and I’m glad she took notice. The music therapy had a significantly good effect in helping her battle with restlessness and confusion. It may not be a long term effect as of now but with continued exposure, I believe music therapy it will have a huge benefit in her well being.

I hope you all enjoyed my short, sweet story. I am a strong believer that life without music is really boring. And I truly acknowledged its positive impact in the medical world especially in dealing with our clients.

Homecare West has been providing senior home care services in Greater Vancouver for over 25 years. We provide a variety of senior home care services ranging from live-in support for the elderly, housekeeping for seniors and home care assistants. Our highly trained team of home caregivers custom fit our services to meet specific needs. Feel free to contact us for questions and for more information about our senior home care services.