Music Therapy supports Families with Dementia

Realization that your parent or family member has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia brings with it so many layers of confusion, and emotional turmoil. The struggles to find services, to get a consistent diagnosis, and figure out paths of treatment  can leave your head spinning. We all want the best care we can get for our family members.

As a music therapist, I have worked with individuals with the range of dementia types over the course of more than 30 years, in both retirement homes and long term care facilities.

My services help to support the families as well, to cope with the challenges of relating to the person they have known and loved (or not) who is changing as they face their inner challenges. Relationship dynamics cannot stay the same. The child often becomes the care giver as the person with dementia in some ways becomes more like a child – yet is still an adult and an elder and wants and needs the respect due them. It is a very difficult journey for all embarking on it.

Services for individuals may include family members

Music Therapy with Seniors – for quality of life in the home

My services can:

  • help you or other family members get through your feelings and challenges as you face the changes in your relationships and negotiating the journey
  • help your parent/loved one  with dementia to sort out their confusion to a certain extent
  • provide pleasurable and appropriate at home musical engagement to break isolation and lighten depression
  • provide a musical facilitation to help ease family relationships
  • help the transition into care when needed. Having a familiar face helps ease the change.
  • Services can continue in the new facility

 

I am happy to collaborate with other health care providers engaged in your family’s well-being and transition.

Benefits of Music Therapy

Engagement in music has been proven to be one of the very best activities to support cognitive and emotional well-being in seniors. As a skilled music therapist, I use music to help the client accomplish the developmental tasks like life review and reminiscence. The use of music also helps to facilitate grief processing.

For people with dementia

  1. Music therapy can help reduce agitation and difficult behavior.
  2. It helps the person maintain their sense of self, through the losses and challenges they face.
  3. Music provides openings for self expression and non-verbal communication of feelings and emotions.
  4. The therapeutic relationship can help support the person through changes in living situations, and integration into a new facility.
  5. Music therapy offers an aesthetic experience, bringing beauty and spiritual connection.

Participation in music therapy increases the quality of life for the senior. It supports ongoing enjoyable and interesting social interactions that support lifelong learning and a sense of well-being.

Services are available on location, in your home or in a facility. They may be provided in groups or on an individual basis.

At end-of-life, palliative care services are available.

Registered Psychotherapists and Taxes, Life Insurance

As a registered psychotherapist-music therapist, my services can be submitted as a medical expense for tax purposes with a doctor or social worker’s prescription, and may be accepted by some insurance companies.