Nursing home patients getting help from music therapy
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 1:00 AM
Though sometimes they may not remember who they are, some Alzheimer's unit patients are able to recall every word to "Jesus Loves Me" with the help of music therapy.
Jenna Jackson serves as the music therapist and activities coordinator at the nursing home.
Using songs such as "Amazing Grace," "Jesus Loves Me," and other hymns, Jackson utilizes these songs to help patients with memory work.
"They may not remember anything about their parents," she said, "but they can remember every word to 'How Great Thou Art.'"
She said music helps bypass parts of the brain that are no longer functional. This allows patients to remember songs better than memories.
In the nearly two years she has been employed at the nursing home, Jackson said she has noticed patients have become more social in therapy and with one another.
"At the beginning, some residents would not even get out of their rooms," she said. "As time went by, the residents who were not so interactive started to come out and take part in therapy."
Nursing Home Administrator Roger Cole said the music therapy program has been very beneficial to the Alzheimer's Unit and the rest of the nursing home.
He said, "In the afternoon when some residents get restless, music therapy has a calming effect on them."
Jackson has also started a choir for the nursing home residents.
Music therapy also helps decrease stress and anxiety for patients, develops communication skills and promotes wellness in patients' lives, Jackson said.
"I enjoy spending days creating music with the residents and providing them with the care they need and deserve."
She said in the future, she hopes to extend her therapy program to speech, occupational and physical therapy patients.
Jackson is a graduate of Mississippi University for Women. She has been working as a Board Certified Music Therapist since 2012.
For further information about music therapy services here at Neshoba County General Hospital-Nursing Home you can contact Jackson at 601-663-1357 or 601-663-1355.
For further information on music therapy you can visit the American Music Therapy Association at www.musictherapy.org.