Music Therapy at Mount St. Mary Hospital is funded entirely through donations. The gifts cover the salaries of two accredited music therapists and purchases musical equipment, instruments, and adaptive technology.
The music therapy program at Mount St. Mary serves older adults living in complex care. At least 80% of the residents are living with dementia or other cognitive impairments. Many individuals living at Mount St. Mary are living with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis. Anxiety, depression, personality disorders and other mental health concerns are common in this population. Mount St. Mary is usually the final home of many of these residents which means many will require palliative care at some point.
The music therapists offer groups for residents with dementia. These sessions increase communication, interaction and a sense of belonging. The group has a familiar structure, uses themes and instrument-playing.
They offer a song-writing group to give residents’ a voice for their thoughts and feelings. Residents brainstorm lyrics and provide musical suggestions which are transformed into songs by the music therapist. Residents perform their original songs for their house mates connecting them with their community in a meaningful way.
One-to-one sessions are meaningful for those isolated by their mental and/or physical health. Residents with physical challenges and those with limited communication abilities express themselves through adaptive technology and connect with others through music. For residents who are palliative, music therapy brings solace as they near the end of life.