New Research Points to Music as Easy Form of Resident Therapy
Nursing home staff who make the time and administrators who devote the resources to helping residents recover from an injury or deal with an illness through something as simple as listening to music are on the right track says researchers at John Hopkins University. Leaders at one of the nation’s top-ranked hospitals have started music therapy sessions focused on the unique therapy needs of patients. After several months, staff evaluated the music routines and observed nursing home residents with debilitating memory diseases like Alzheimer’s associate certain music patterns as a cue to perform daily activities such as getting out of bed, eating, and even showering. These are all acts the residents were not able to perform previous to the music therapy.
The music playlists are designed to minimize distraction and increase productivity and played to balance the mind. Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests listening to music does the same thing for a brain as going to the gym does for a body and that listening to music can reduce pain, anxiety, and blood pressure as well as improve mood, ease tension, and increase memory. The movement to music also helps with coordination and increases relaxation.
Nursing Homes Should Be Adapting New Therapies
Of course, nursing home therapists and care facilitators need to stay committed to helping residents by developing the right care plan and seeing thru with providing that support. Each Illinois nursing home lawyer at Levin & Perconti hopes that the research study from John Hopkins Medicine may provide the base to create simple, cost-effective and innovative-type therapies for resident recovery and well-being in nursing homes. Nursing homes cannot be viewed merely as places for people to go and die. Instead, they must be flourishing places where seniors are still able to use their skills, pursue their passions, and engage in regular daily activities with dignity.
Even the Best Therapy Strategies Fail Because of Staffing Issues
Music therapy sounds wonderful and all that is needed are a few new resources, staff time and a proactive approach by administrators to commit to maximizing the well-being of all residents. Unfortunately, we know that too many nursing home residents living in Illinois are left neglected, and the most troubled nursing homes in our state are grossly understaffed.
Daily needs of residents are often ignored, or staff just don’t have the time to see to them, let alone learn or follow new treatment strategies. Some workers find it difficult to even provide nutritional support, keep the correct medication schedules for all patients, or help the most disabled residents with individualized care because there are too many individuals to care for in one shift.
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Learn more about the John Hopkins music therapy study here.