In my work with patients, I’ve found many alternative therapies to be highly effective for symptom management related to diagnosis and quality of life. One in particular is music therapy.
Working with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients requires creative options for managing symptoms. Since implementing music in treatment, I have seen depressed patients’ moods improve or completely revive, especially when it’s a tune they recognize.
- Music therapy helps a wide range of patients, including the terminally ill, developmentally disabled, neurologically impaired or elderly.
- It can help patients with medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, stroke, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health issues, emotional disturbance, physical disability, substance abuse and dual diagnoses.
- Music is a non-pharmacological approach when other treatment methods have not proven effective.
- It provides a means of communication for a patient who can no longer talk or express himself or herself because of illness.
- It can improve quality of life, lead to better outcomes and higher happiness levels, thereby reducing depression.
- Music therapy is cost-effective. With modern technology, you can easily find appropriate music using just a computer or cell phone.
- It can be used in many settings. Technology allows music to be played just about anywhere.
Melanie Bullock is a former medical social worker for Compassus in Billings, Montana.