At The Denver Hospice our care is centered on giving more.
In addition to our expert medical care, we offer special therapies to care for the body, mind and spirit.Using our hearts and hands, we expand the way we care for our patients; our therapists use musical instruments, voice, art, animals and essential oil.
Music creates a container for the experience and expression of a variety of emotions that may be hard to put in words. It is a universal language that a patient may respond to even after his or her ability to communicate in other ways has become limited. During a music activity visit, a trained volunteer offers live or recorded music for the patient’s enjoyment and benefit.
Art therapy engages the creative process of art-making to enhance the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of people of all ages. Self-expression through art can help resolve conflicts and problems, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness and achieve insight. In the hospice setting, art therapy can aid symptom management, provide a means to communicate about terminal illness, facilitate exploration of spiritual concerns and serve to support grieving friends and family members. No artistic skills are necessary to benefit from this form of therapy, provided by a trained art therapist.
Memory making activities offer families special moments together to remember, process, communicate and build positive memories. Families are led in creating lasting and tangible art pieces that represent their bond and relationships. Examples of produced pieces include hand casts and stepping stones, where casts of clasped hands or imprints of multiple hands are created into enduring sculptures. Other activities, such as memory boxes, fingerprint keepsakes and letter writing, offer connections to loved ones into the future. No artistic skills are necessary to participate in memory making, provided by a trained art therapist.
An animal activity visit can help a patient relax, open up and enjoy the sensory experience of connecting with an animal. Contact with, or even the presence of, an animal may also help people express thoughts, feelings and emotions. This visit will allow the patient and their loved ones to enjoy the company of a dog or cat with support of a trained volunteer.
Aromatherapy uses pure essential oils extracted from plants to enhance well-being and relieve a variety of physical and emotional health conditions, including pain, itching, nausea, anxiety and agitation. Essential oils are diluted and applied to the skin in creams and lotions. Each blend provides a specific benefit to the patient.
Calming touch, a nurturing form of acupressure massage provided by trained hospice team members, is gentle, safe and appropriate for those with chronic illness, the elderly and those nearing end of life. Deeply soothing and respectful, it can relieve pain, promote relaxation, ease breathing, encourage appetite and digestion, improve quality of sleep and increase mental alertness.
Reiki is a very gentle healing practice in which the hands are placed on or just above the patient’s body in order to support the flow of energy. Reiki is based on the concept that the human body consists of patterns of energy that can be balanced in order to relieve tension, pain and other symptoms. Reiki is provided by trained volunteers and supports the individual on all levels of body, mind and spirit. The potential benefits of Reiki may include calming, relaxation, decreased pain and tension and a time to reflect or rest.
The Denver Hospice Commitment to Excellence in Comfort
The Denver Hospice is committed to providing Integrative Therapies free of charge to our patients. The Medicare hospice reimbursement or other insurance does not cover these services.
We rely on the generosity of friends and supporters of the Integrative Therapies program to continue to make these services available to our patients. Your stories and/or donations help keep our program strong. You can request any of our Integrative Therapies from your The Denver Hospice social worker.