MHA is a charity organization in the UK that provides care and housing for senior citizens, as well as providing dementia care. One of the types of therapy that MHA provides for its dementia patients is music therapy. MHA is known for being one of the top providers of care for dementia patients and has a reputation for being able to provide top quality and people oriented care.
What is music therapy?
MHA’s music therapy program was started in a few of its care homes based on a study that showed it to help improve the well-being of the patients during and even after the therapy sessions were performed. Certified therapists who specialize in music came into the homes and provided either group or one-on-one sessions with the patients.
Music is said to soothe the soul and the home managers at MHA say that this music program is special and even though it may not seem like all that much to some people, it means the world to the patients. The whole process is said to be very inspiring.
Music Helps Bring out the Patients’ Feelings
As one manager put it, dementia patients struggle to understand their own lives and the music somehow helps them to make a connection with the person they used to be. If a person was once a music lover, then the therapy brings that out and it is easy to see it come out again.
It is the job of the music therapist to help bring out this feeling in the patients. The music therapists have been working to show how the therapy is enhancing the life and happiness of the dementia patients in the affected homes.
This work has helped to get the therapy placed in all of the MHA care homes, making it one of only a few places in the UK that uses music therapy in the setting of a long-term care facility.
How has the music therapy helped individual patients?
The benefits to the patients seen by the therapists have been many and therapists have also seen it change not only the lives of the patients, but that of their care takers and relatives too.
For example, one patient was usually very loud and paced continuously and seemed very restless. When the low and soft music was played for him, it made him much calmer. He still spoke loudly, but seemed much more relaxed. Relatives also report that their loved ones seem more like their old selves after a music session and watching the patients respond to the therapist.
MHA Music Therapy Has Influenced Their Facilities in Many Ways
MHA’s staff even named four of its wings after seeing how much the music helped at one of its care home in Birmingham to Symphony, Melody, Harmony and Rhapsody. They hope that a full team of music therapists can help to bring the therapy all over the UK.
They also hope that the knowledge of the success that the program is having will help them to get more funding so they can buy more instruments for the residents. You can find out more by calling the MHA at +44 11327 28482 or by going to their website at www.mha.org.uk.
Music and Dementia
Dementia is essentially a condition that is caused by some sort of imbalance in the brain whereby the person can’t process things normally. Music is considered to be a great help due to the fact that it is received into the brain and processed in such a way that allows even patients deeply affected by dementia problems to understand even when they can’t process human language.
Music helps get inside the patient’s brain and allows them to make social and emotional connections. It also soothes them and relaxes them. Therefore, it is seen as a way to connect with the patients and help them to cope better with their situations.
The music therapy only works when music that the person used to like is used and other kinds tend to have little to no effect. In fact, a music therapist has to regulate the pitch, volume and other musical factors that are used in their therapy sessions because all of those can effect the patient’s mood or anxiety levels.
All in all, MHA is making big strides in the field of music therapy while helping to better the lives of dementia patients housed in MHA homes all over the UK.
Lucy James is a freelance writer helping to represent and raise awareness for MHA online and, in particular, their flagship retirement centre, Auchlochan, based in Scotland. Find out more by visiting: http://www.mha.org.uk.