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Music makes a difference

Music makes a difference
Music therapist Kayla Turnbull (right) with Loretta Young, who also has a Masters Degree in music.

All aspects of life look different these days, and that is especially evident in long-term care. Programming has changed, gathering is restricted, and visitors are limited.

Throughout the many challenges, Music Therapy continues to support people living in long-term care homes, their families, and their health-care teams.

At Summerland’s Dr. Andrew Pavilion, music therapist Kayla Turnbull works in collaboration with the health-care team to help those experiencing mental health concerns and feelings of isolation.

“The music therapy keeps my mom stimulated and it triggers wonderful memories and brings such joy.  It’s phenomenal,” says Nancy Smith, whose mother lives at the Dr. Andrew Pavilion.

Certified Music Therapists complete a Bachelor’s Degree and internship with formal training in music, psychology, and in the assessment of clinical conditions.

Music therapist Kayla Turnbull drums with Norris Hunt.

Whether sharing favourite songs, providing space for remembering, or supporting a resident in song creation, Kayla meets her clients however they are in that moment. She has a unique role, and brings a wealth of knowledge in music and how it affects health and well-being for older adults with chronic conditions.

Kayla helps those experiencing complex grief, and often witnesses smiles, tears, laughter and connections with significant songs from the past.

“The joy, happiness and their moods are uplifted. The interaction and connection makes such a huge difference in their day,” says Colette More, a unit clerk at Dr. Andrew Pavilion.

Music has the ability to cross cultures, languages, and abilities.

While we find our way during this time, remember the words of famous song-writer Vera Lynn: “We’ll meet again some sunny day”.