Essex County, NJ -- Thanks to a generous grant and the enthusiasm of Barnabas Health Hospice staff, patients facing life-limiting illnesses are finding renewed joy and pleasure in rediscovering the music that matters to them through Music & Memory - a 501c3 non-profit organization that helps provide patients with individualized iPods loaded with music playlists personalized just for them. Barnabas Health Hospice, which is sharing in a grant provided to Music & Memory from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, is the first hospice agency in New Jersey to participate in the program and to receive a "start-up kit" of iPod Shuffles, headphones, small tabletop speakers and gift cards to purchase music that is used to create playlists for patients.
Barnabas Health Hospice initially launched the program this past fall for its hospice patients residing at a West Orange nursing facility. Now, it has been expanded to include patients living at other nursing facilities and to those receiving hospice services in the home setting. It is led by a team of dedicated volunteers who talk with patients and/or families to determine which musical artists, songs and genres will be most meaningful and enjoyable for the patient. Once the personalized playlist is created and downloaded onto an iPod, a Barnabas Health Hospice volunteer delivers the music to the patient, listening along with him/her or leaving the iPod for him/her to use independently or with family.
The idea is simple, but the difference that Music & Memory is making in the quality of life of seriously ill people and their families, is nothing short of remarkable. According to research, the therapeutic benefits of music can provide not only comfort and enjoyment, but also reduce isolation, anxiety and agitation. Music also can help pain medication work more effectively and stimulate movement.
One Barnabas Health Hospice patient, who is bedbound and suffering from dementia, smiles and taps her foot while listening to her play list. Another patient, blind and wheelchair bound, sings along to the '60s pop hits from his youth. For him, the iPod he received from Barnabas Health Hospice through Music & Memory, has provided a welcome window into a time of his life not defined by illness and debility.
Barnabas Health Hospice envisions expanding its Music & Memory program beyond Essex County to reach patients receiving care in the additional nine New Jersey counties it services. New and gently used iPods and/or compact discs (CDs), as well as financial support, are needed to continue to build and maintain the program. For information about Barnabas Health Hospice or to make a donation to the Music & Memory program, please call 973-322-4818.
For more information about Music & Memory, please visit www.musicandmemory.org.
About Barnabas Health Hospice
Comfort the Patient. Heal the Family.
The health care team at Barnabas Health Hospice has been privileged to serve more than 52,000 patients and their families during one of the most personal times of their lives. Specially trained experts in end-of-life care are honored to provide comprehensive and compassionate medical, emotional and spiritual care at a time when it is needed most. Our programs, which serve infants, children, adults and the elderly, honor the individual choices and values of each patient and family, while offering full access to the broad array of services provided by Barnabas Health. For more information, please visit www.barnabashealthhospice.org.