Working in hospice takes a strong will, a full heart and plenty of compassion. When that compassion reaches our patients’ families, that's when we know we have truly lived out our Mission. Heartland Hospice serving Greater Lehigh Valley recently received a wonderful testimonial from Christine, the daughter of a hospice patient. She explains how thankful she is for Laura, music therapist, and Heartland for bringing music therapy to her mom’s visits.
“I seemed to be losing a little more of Mom each day…
Mom was diagnosed with a benign mass on her brain just a few months after Daddy passed in 2015. She came through the surgery well, but soon fell victim to dementia. The Mom we knew was slowly disappearing.
We visited Mom regularly until COVID-19 prohibited our visits. We were pleased when ManorCare Health Services initiated video calls. However, at this time Mom’s ability to speak had greatly diminished. She had difficulty forming words and her speech was extremely hard to understand. I was becoming very discouraged because of how difficult it was to communicate with her.
Music had always been important in our life, so when Heartland Hospice offered music therapy, I gladly accepted it. I was thrilled when Laura invited me to sing along with her. Although I was only able to join via video due to restrictions, I could see Mom’s face light up when she saw me and heard me sing. I am passionate about singing and have had the pleasure of performing locally and on a friend’s CD and Mom has always been my biggest fan.
Our singing sessions mean so much to me, and I can see by the look in Mom’s eyes that they mean a lot to her too. At times I even see her mouthing along to the words of the songs, moving her head to the rhythm and tapping her fingers to the beat. Music therapy has given me back a part of my Mom I thought I had lost.
It’s a wonderful thing to see Mom smiling and laughing and know that I am the reason. Where words fail, music speaks. Thank you, Laura and Heartland Hospice.”
-Christine Merwarth, daughter