By R. Bruce Dalglish of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Updated June 25, 2018
Recently, I came across an Associated Press article about a capella groups that volunteer at hospice centers throughout the nation singing for the elderly and terminally ill. With their calming melodies, the choirs offer much needed emotional relief and comforting to the patients and their relatives.
Singing to the terminally ill has been a part of human tradition for millennia, waning in the modern age due to the advent of hospitals. Many people believe that music purges painful feelings, such as stress, fear, anxiety and grief, and allows for positive feelings, such as love and appreciation to take its place. By singing with family and friends, hospice care patients can find piece and comfort during their last days.
The choirs treat every patient differently, selecting their songs and melodies depending on the patient’s preference, religion, and hobbies.
Even though members of these choirs are usually neither classically trained singers, nor are they trained hospice workers, they choose to dedicate their time to uplift and offer patients a little respite.
Establishing emotional connections and connecting with patients on a personal level are extremely important for quality hospice care – which is why initiatives such as hospice choirs are extremely valuable to patients and hospice centers around the nation.
About the Author
A resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Bruce Dalglish has served as the Chairman and CEO of Alliance Hospice and All Caring Hospice since 2005. In this role, Bruce Dalglish oversees the development and strategic direction of both companies. From 2008 – 2013, Bruce Dalglish served on the Public Policy Committee of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).
Disclaimer: Blogs by R. Bruce Dalglish provide educational information, not medical advice. Please consult with your medical providers when making end-of-life care decisions.