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As Seen on NBC: A SALMON Hospice Music Therapist’s Profound Impact on Dementia and Hospice Patients: When Words Can’t Help, Music Can

Natasha Grossfeld Brings Joy and Spreads Goodness Through Song

Grossfeld’s first experience discovering the profound impact of hospice music therapy was when she sang to her great-grandfather at his bedside. He was nearly deaf, blind, and uncommunicative when Grossfeld held his hand and began singing. At that moment, he squeezed her hand and Grossfeld discovered the power music can have for patients in their final days.

At Berklee College of Music, Grossfeld studied music therapy. Now, Grossfeld visits patients in hospice at five SALMON Health and Retirement campuses.

“When you play music that’s familiar, it unlocks memories,” said Diane Tonelli, Director of Memory Care.

For many with memory loss from health conditions and degenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, emotions are the last area of the brain to be affected. For the patients who are no longer able to express their emotions through words, music provides comfort and relaxation.

When reflecting on the impact of her work on the patients and their families, Natasha is comforted to know her music helps to bring joy when all the joy seems lost. “I get to celebrate their life with them when everyone else is focused on life or death,” said Grossfeld. “It’s a beautiful thing.”

Watch the story on NBC Boston.

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