Promoting Positive Connections with Older Adults

by jsokira on August 3, 2011

 By Emily Pellegrino, MT-BC

Are you someone who is looking to promote positive connections for an older adult in your life?  Would you like to find a way to maintain close family bonds as your parent or grandparent ages? This week we’d like to talk about how music therapy can help promote emotional intimacy when spouses and families share creative music experiences.

We often observe spouses who are living in the same nursing home, but have very little contact with one another due to differences in their mental and physical health needs.  One example that comes to mind are a husband and wife who were at different stages of Alzheimer’s, the wife still able to verbally communicate and socialize, and her husband who was non ambulatory and hadn’t spoken much more than a word or two for several years.  Music had been a huge part of their marriage whether it was going to the symphony, dancing, or singing with their 3 children during a trip cross country.  The two participated in weekly music therapy sessions which soon became the highlight of their week.  During these sessions they would hold hands and join the music therapist in singing familiar songs.  The husband who rarely spoke would even sing words or phrases to songs like “Take me out to the ball game,” or “Let me call you sweetheart.”  Often, children and grandchildren would join the music therapy sessions, reflecting on memories that the music evoked, and sharing how special it was to see their parents engaging in something together.

If you would like to learn more about how music therapy services can help improve the quality of life of your loved one please contact us, and stay tuned to read more in the months to come about how music therapy services can benefit the older adult in your life.

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