In hospice settings, research has shown that music therapy interventions significantly increase quality of life and help bring focus on living to the patient, family and other caregivers. Music experiences are used to promote positive effects in several areas of life that are non-musical in nature, such as:
- Pain and discomfort
- Anxiety and depression
- Respiratory issues
- Family communication
- Coping issues
- Isolation and loneliness
- Feelings of loss
- Spirituality, bereavement and grief
Therapeutic massage helps relieve symptoms and provides patients an opportunity to relax their body and mind. Although massage isn't capable of curing any serious or life-threatening medical disorders, it can provide welcome relief from the symptoms of anxiety, tension, depression, insomnia, and stress as well as back pain, headache, muscle pain, and some forms of chronic pain. For some patients, skilled and gentle massage can also help achieve more restful sleeping habits, aid digestion, ease breathing and improve mental clarity. Patient comfort is the number one priority during a massage therapy session.
Niagara Hospice also offers pet visits by trained volunteers. In some patients, pet visits have been found to reduce blood pressure, increase mental alertness, reduce anxiety and increase attention skills. Some of the goals of pet visits are to improve interactions with others and reduce loneliness. It has been observed that pets have a comforting and often healing touch that no one else can duplicate.