Nursing home won’t implement a music program – it should be part of the care plan – by law

You might be aware that it has been found that music and musical activities can be helpful and therapeutic, including for the purpose of reducing or eliminating antipsychotic and other medications, for elders and seniors in geriatric care, palliative care, with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, and with depression.

And I have heard that grants and funding for these types of activities are available, but that for the most part nursing homes are not implementing these programs, possibly because to do so would require some additional nursing home time and staff resources.

The excuse for not implementing these programs entirely misses the point, breaches a nursing home’s care duties, and quite possibly also breaches duties and responsibilities pertaining to medications and dosages that might be reduced or eliminated if the musical activity and therapy was provided.

Providing music, if it will be helpful for the resident, is a care evaluation and care plan issue, that the nursing home must address and provide if it would be beneficial to the wellbeing and care of the elderly resident. It’s that simple.

I encourage people to work together to force nursing homes to provided these programs for residents for whom it would be beneficial.

Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco and California)

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