Case Study: Sans Souci Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (Jan 2015)

Resident: Cleon Potter
Community: Sans Souci Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
Date: February
Concierge: Natalie M-Joseph

Music Therapy Case Study
Cleon Potter is a 77 year old woman with dementia, aphasia and hemiplegia. She enjoys daily visits from her husband and staff and is able to communicate through simple gestures. Resident’s participation in Recreational programming is limited due to her medical diagnosis. Her husband expressed that his wife’s faith and love of religious and Oldies music are very important to her. He also expressed how much his wife meant to him as she lovingly glanced at him. Resident accepted invitation for a 1:1 session with the music therapist. Her husband was also present during the session. The music therapist was able to learn more about her preferences from her husband while he engaged in some reminisce about experiences that they shared together. Music therapist was able to validate Mrs. Potter’s religious beliefs by singing hymns and spirituals. When asked, resident gave several hand gestures and nods to show her approval of the choice of music that was being provided to her. The music therapist also sang a few love songs to validate the love and affection between Mrs. Potter and her husband. The music therapist acknowledged that their love is sacred and the privilege that it was to serve them through the music. The music therapist also observed that husband went to kiss his wife and that they stared lovingly at each other while she was singing. It was during this time (the music therapist was singing “I’ll Always Love You”) that Mr. Potter began to cry and in turn, his wife began to cry. Music therapist continued validating the couple’s experience using the music to provide a safe, nurturing and supportive environment. When the session was over, both Mrs. and Mr. Potter expressed appreciation for the music session.

The music therapist continues to visit with Mrs. Potter on a weekly basis. Mrs. Potter has exhibited increased participation in both small and large group settings (attentively listens during Reader’s Digest groups, Friday Matinee, trivia and live music performances). Her husband has also starting bringing headphones for her to listen to her preferred music. She continues to use simple gestures to express herself and smiles at staff while engaging in conversation. As a result of rapport between the music therapist, she has also accepted the invitation to participate in the Rhythm Band programs and allows the music therapist to do some hand over hand demonstrations with her.

Shontae Usman, Music Therapist
Natalie M-Joseph, Director of Concierge Services and Patient Experience