Music therapy helps Hospice patient

For Miami Valley Today

TROY — When Lenetia Shoemaker, a patient of Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County, expressed a desire to play an omnichord, an electronic musical instrument, the staff jumped into action to grant her wish.

Jessica Hoying, music therapist, and Jenny Weber, volunteer coordinator, worked together to grant Shoemaker’s wish. Hoying contacted Weber to see whether Shoemaker’s family could find her omnichord. The family looked for the omnichord, but they could not find it immediately. So, Weber made phone calls to other musicians to see if they had an omnichord they could borrow. A fellow musician offered to let Shoemaker borrow his omnichord. But on the same day, Shoemaker’s family found her omnichord.

“When I visited Lenetia, her face lit up when she saw the omnichord,” Hoying said. “When I turned on the omnichord, Lenetia smiled and began to press different buttons, rediscovering her omnichord.”

The omnichord is not an extremely intuitive instrument. But with Hoying’s help, Shoemaker was able to play several hymns. Hoying continues to visit Shoemaker for music therapy visits.

“This is music therapy in action! Music therapy is such a great resource for our patients,” Hoying said. “Whether it facilitates social interactions like this or encourages relaxation, music therapy has so many purposes. It can be used to reduce anxiety in our patients, provide an emotional release, be a conversation starter, or normalize an environment.”

Granting patient wishes is part of what the integrated care team at Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County does.

“We help our patients find joy and peace during life’s final months,” Weber said. “Our mission is to celebrate the lives of those we have the privilege of serving by providing superior care and superior services to each patient and family.”

Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County has been serving patients in Miami County since 1983. The not-for-profit hospice is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those facing life-limiting illnesses. Its care has earned recognition from the prestigious Hospice Honors program of HEALTHCAREfirst and Deyta Analytics. Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County is an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice.

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Provided photo Lenetia Shoemaker, a patient of Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County, plays the omnichord. photo Lenetia Shoemaker, a patient of Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County, plays the omnichord.