Exploring the effect of music therapy in elders living in hospice and palliative care
by Annesha Dey
Category: Social Sciences
Abstract - Music therapy is often used in hospice and palliative care of elderly adults and senior citizens nearing the end of their lives. This article discusses the benefits of various types of music therapies in elderly care treatment, including group music therapy (GMT), recreational choir singing (RCS), learning to play an instrument, and musical relaxation techniques. However, though music therapy is being used with increasing frequency in the treatment of those with terminal illnesses, due to the lack of empirical data in the field, many are skeptical of whether external musical therapy can medically improve the condition of terminally ill patients and elders. Thus, this article will also focus on determining the extent to which music therapy improves the mental/physical health and condition of elders living in hospice and palliative care, using existing empirical studies that document evidence-based data. Conclusions establish that though music therapy does not improve the physical condition of terminally ill elders to a significant extent, it does increase their quality of life and mental health in their final days. It further establishes that long-term music therapy and repeated sessions are highly beneficial in hospice and palliative care of elders.