The Healing & Comforting Power of Music

“I’m not good at remembering anything” says hospice patient, Warren Stehman Sr.

According to Compassionate Care volunteer coordinator, Kathleen Ferren, “they may forget who their children are, but they’ll remember songs they heard as kids.”

Compassionate Care serves a special treat to some of their hospice patients by giving them the gift of music.

“It has been proven that hearing is the last sense to go, so if a patient maybe isn’t responsive in any other way they might still be able to hear, ” says Ferren.

89-year-old Warren Stehman, Sr. has been in hospice care for the past two years.

Before then, he was living alone.

His son, Warren Stehman Jr. tells us, a bad accident nearly killed him and caused brain damage.

 

“He got out of the bed one morning and there’s an old tv on his night stand. He fell and hit his head.”

Recently, Mr. Stehman has found himself enjoying some of his favorite songs through Valerie West.

She’s a volunteer singer for Compassionate Care’s Musical Moments program.

“Oh, I like that! She sings, I enjoy her singing” says Stehman

According to West, “it’s kind of combining my love for music and caring for the patient.”

She knows the importance of adding music to patients lives.

“Anything that can get you out of your immediate surroundings and I feel that these does that for a lot of people.”

Family members like Warren Stehman Jr. agree.

“Any kind of activity, you know? Whether it’s someone coming in off the street, these people love it.”

Being cared for is very hard for Stehman at times.

His family says he’s very independent.

Until his wife passed away in 2009, he was her primary caretaker.

“I took care of her with Alzheimers disease, I loved every bit of it.”

Stehman also reminisces about his days on the road.

“I traveled like this then,” says Stehman as he points his thumb in the air.

Now, he spends his time at Longwood Manor and enjoys visits with his five children.

“I didn’t think I missed much out of life,” Stehman tells us.

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