Patient Stories -- Care Dimensions


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Music Therapy Helps Patients Connect and Express Themselves

Surrounded by the artwork she created and collected, Marjorie (Pat) Lawrence, 94, was still enamored with the arts, especially music, until her death. Her visits with Care Dimensions' music therapist Li Kynvi became a focal point for Pat, who had renal disease. “It’s the only thing she really looked forward to,” said Pat’s daughter Barbara. “The fact that she could talk about her art with another artist was huge.”

On most creative arts therapy visits, Pat would sit and quietly paint with watercolors as Lisa played her guitar and sang Pat’s favorite songs. Pat often requested a song by Ella Fitzgerald and Stan Getz, titled, There’s a Lull in My Life. It’s “our song,” Pat would say. While listening to it she often reminisced about meeting her husband Peter, the first boy she ever dated.

Li has seen the way music and specific songs can trigger memories in patients. “Music is a whole brain activity, which helps patients to make a connection and extend their conversations,” said Lisa. “For some patients, the recognition of a song orients them while also allowing them to have interactions with others.”

Music therapy is just one of several of several offerings in Care Dimensions’ Complementary Therapies Program, which is made possible by generous community financial support. Since its inception in 2010, this innovative and supportive program has helped nearly 3,000 patients and caregivers with modalities such as creative arts and music therapy, massage, Reiki and pet therapy. Developed to nurture body, mind, and spirit with non-invasive, holistic practices, the program serves as an addition to the hospice interdisciplinary plan of care and enriches quality of life for patients, families and caregivers. Complementary therapies address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of the patient and can provide avenues for communication for those who find it difficult to express themselves verbally.

For Pat, and many patients like her, having time when she was able to focus on something positive, nurturing and interactive was a welcome relief. So welcome, in fact, that Pat woke at 6 a.m. on days when she knew Li would be visiting. “Music therapy gave Mom something to talk about all week long. She liked to recall what songs they sang and what they talked about. It brightened her life,” said Barbara.
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While our website will give you a better understanding about hospice care and the services that Care Dimensions provides, no one can tell the true story quite like our patients, families and staff. We encourage you to take a moment and read their stories and watch our videos.

You’ll be forever changed as you learn about life’s difficult final journey and the amazing patients, caregivers and staff who’ve embarked on the experience together.

Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in more than 95 communities in Eastern Massachusetts.