As neurologist and neuropsychiatrist, Dr. Absar, shared her research and experience at Kensington Park last month, Dr. Absar encouraged staff members to consider alleviating anxiety and agitation in our residents with solutions as simple as initiating deep breathing.
Music therapy, whether individual or group, provides an additional, and sometimes alternative, remedy to anxiety and agitation. Two ways we utilize conscious breathing in music therapy include muscle relaxation to music and singing. “You almost put me to sleep!” a resident in my men’s group exclaimed, prior to my reading of a customized muscle relaxation/guided imagery script, set to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” The gentlemen in this group session continued to utilize diaphragmatic breathing as we went on to sing songs with “moon” in the title. This led to the sharing of remembered moments underneath the moon, which brought smiles to the group participants as they recounted memories and songs from their youth.
Might I ask you to focus on giving our residents the feeling of home by singing or playing a familiar song, resetting a room, or initiating conversation between group members, innovative opportunities for further connection are all around us. As we do, we might find that we open ourselves up to greater options for personal care that is truly unique to each resident in our Kensington Park community.