March is Music Therapy month and Hospice Palliative Care Society music therapy Jill Murphy (r), is the recipient of a spring orchid presented to her by board member Michele McKinnon (l). The spring orchid was presented in appreciation for the outstanding work she does with Palliative Care Service patients in hospital and in the community year round. Jill is an Accredited Music Therapist who together with patients (and/or family members) creates and implements a uniquely personalized music therapy experience that reflects individual needs of the patient.
The Society has funded this position since 2009, understanding that music is known to positively impact patients and particularly so in Cape Breton where music is deeply rooted in community culture. Music Therapy in palliative care can help improve communications, reduce anxiety, promote emotional expression, decrease feelings of isolation, decrease pain perception and aid in a life review. Patients have the option of simply listening to music that is either pre-recorded or live and family members are encouraged to share music that is important to the patient. Some patients choose to work with Jill in personal song writing or become involved in active music making along with her. Some patients choose to create legacy CDs for family and friends.
The Hospice Palliative Care Music Therapy program is also supported by Second Wind Community Concert Band through an annual fundraising concert that takes place in June.