Guest blog continued:
By Ginny Hauser

The recent funds received by Friends of Hospice from the Empire Health Foundation grant and the Dime in Time Program award from Moscow Food Co-op, helped to purchase more Music & Memory supplies, including more music. I asked several listeners to let me know if they had any songs or artists that they wanted me to buy, as we now had the funds to add some new music to our library. Immediately, both residents stopped what they were doing and concentrated on letting me know what I should purchase for them. I worked over the weekend to purchase this special request music from iTunes and build their new playlists. During my next shift, I gave each of them an updated iPod loaded with this music. There were smiles all around.

Can you imagine what this simple gesture means to someone who cannot live at home? To someone who is unable to make all of the decisions regarding their life? By taking the time to listen to them, to honor their interests, to fulfill their requests, and to keep a promise, following through with providing personalized music affords comfort and well-being in an otherwise difficult situation. I am truly honored to be able to help deliver this life affirming gift to dear ones in our care community.

Our community continues to recognize the importance of supporting the Music & Memory Outreach Program throughout Whitman County. We have been recipients of several grants and monetary awards, as well as ongoing private donations of used music CDs and money that can be used for Music & Memory program support. Working together, we can continue our goal to provide personalized music to all individuals on hospice care or those at end of life.

The Whitman County Music & Memory Outreach Project members include Pullman Regional Hospital, Avalon Care Center, Circles of Caring Adult Day Services, and Friends of Hospice. Personalized music eases pain and anxiety, provides comfort and calm, and encourages the sharing of memories stirred by the music. Families benefit from this gentle connection with their loved one at a time when traditional communication through words is often difficult.

Editor’s Note:    It is with gratitude and appreciation we recognize the generosity of our funding partners, the Empire Health Foundation and the Moscow Food Co-op Dime in Time Program. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide this expanded service in Whitman County.  A special thank you to our community outreach program partners, Pullman Regional Hospital, Avalon Care Center, and Circles of Caring Adult Day Services, whose dedication and commitment has made this program widely available within our care settings and homes.  If you would like to donate to the Music & Memory Outreach Program, or if you know someone in one of these settings or at end of life who would benefit from a personalized playlist, contact Friends of Hospice at 509-332-4414.