Sunday, September 26, 2010

music for caregivers

There can be so much noise in the head of a caregiver / carer that it can be almost impossible to focus. Your hands may be pushing a wheelchair, changing Depends, or assisting with a transfer but your brain is everywhere, endlessly reprioritizing your ‘to do’ list that never will be accomplished.

Recently I have been reading about music therapy in caregiving. Needless to say these articles are focused on patients. Helping to revive dormant memories, retain new information, palliative care, even how caregiver singing may improve communication between patient and caregiver. Broadway are you listening? A musical in a nursing home setting is just waiting to be written for the graying of America.

What about music for caregivers / carers? Some Google hits offer music as a stress reliever. Somehow, I just do not picture myself laying in a hot tub with scented candles listening to Vivaldi.

I do use music to motivate myself though more in my head not in earbuds attached to an MP3 player. If I’m dragging or my back is sore and debating maybe skipping an outing with Patti, I just call up parts of songs to get me back on track.

For example here is a minute of how my head works. 

There is head noise whether homecare or the care facility era, whether caring for spouses, or children, or parents, or relatives or friends simply because it all demands time you do not have, it is physical and it is emotional.

When I find myself in the right music the noise parts like Moses parting the Red Sea  … Yeah, yeah I know the simile is a stretch since I’m pushing a wheelchair and not riding a chariot but you get my drift.

What’s in YOUR head?

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 

musings: patrick ponders


  1. As music has been so great a part of your life, this makes perfect sense. Whatever you hear in your head, I'm glad it helps. You in some way. Love and hugs my old friend, Red

  2. (I'm trying to remember Moses riding the chariot parting the Red Sea and I'm thinking he walked across, but I understand your simile, Patrick - and of course God allowed the Red Sea to part :)

    I can see how music therapy would be so beneficial for all sides, caregivers and patients. I am sure caregivers minds are constantly cluttered with all the demands put upon them. I liked your choice of music to help you deal with the physical and emotional demands of it (although I was surprised to see Emminem in the mix :)

    you are in a million with how you choose to be a caregiver Patrick


  3. I love this post....I thrive on music....My 91 year old mom lives with us for three years now...she is blind in one eye and had a heart attack which was when we decided it was time to join homes. It can be challenging at times but my IPOD is my best friend. Music doesnt solve all the problems but it sure does help me. for me it helps me reprogram this old brain of mine...It somehow helps me act happy even if Im feeling a bit down. so come on lets all continue Singing Those Songs........

  4. I agree! Music helps everyone in all walks of life! Of course, everyone has their own personal preference for the type of music, but it none-the-less eases the mind. Thanks for sharing!


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