Dry July is music to our ears
Thanks to the generosity of our Dry July supporters, The Alfred has introduced a special music therapy program for our palliative care patients.
Music therapy is highly regarded by medical professionals as a safe way to support people living with life-threatening illness, by providing comfort and relief, and allowing people to explore and express difficult emotions.
Dr Lucy Forrest is a registered music therapist, researcher and clinical supervisor who has been involved in oncology and palliative care for more than 20 years. Her role with The Alfred’s oncology and palliative care department is completely funded by community support.
“Music can provide symptom support when someone has anxiety or pain, is breathless or isn’t sleeping: I can use music to calm and relax, settle and distract them, helping to reduce anxiety and distress,” Ms Forrest said.
Then there is creative music therapy, which is about helping people live fully until the end.
“They may want to learn to play an instrument, or create a legacy, such as writing a song to leave for a child, a grandchild, or their partner.
“Music can also be used to take them out of the space that they are in, so they are not focused solely on their illness. Music can transport people to other times and places, through memories and stories, helping them to re-engage with their well self, and providing opportunities for sharing and support between family members.”
Lucy’s message to those who helped fund her program is one of heartfelt gratitude.
“Thank you! Being able to bring music into people’s lives during difficult times is so important, especially for our palliative care patients and their families,” she says.
“Research shows that music can positively impact physiological responses, transform people’s experiences of palliative care, and bring comfort and support. That’s why I love this work, and the opportunity to develop a new program in an amazing place like The Alfred is very exciting.”
A big thank you to everyone who participated in, or supported others, as part of Dry July 2017. Thanks to your generosity and dedication, so many patients, loved ones and carers will benefit from this wonderful program.