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Expressive Therapies – The Role of Music, Massage and Art Therapies

Care and Comfort through Expressive Therapies

Some of the most beautiful Hospice moments happen when an Expressive Therapist is in the room!

Expressive therapies play an integral role in enhancing the quality of life for adults and families in Hospice Buffalo, as well as for children and their families in our Essential Care program. Our credentialed therapists address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of our patients and families through various therapeutic interventions such as music therapy, massage therapy and art therapy.

Benefits of Expressive Therapies

  • Provides a creative outlet for self-expression and interpersonal support,
  • Helps patients and families manage pain and anxiety,
  • Decreases loneliness and isolation,
  • Encourages movement and active engagement,
  • Facilitates reminiscence and life review,
  • Provides opportunities for creating a legacy, memory and meaning-making

We develop treatment plans in collaboration with physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains, and provide an ongoing supportive presence throughout the individual’s care.

Where can you find us?

Our expressive therapists visit with patients and families in all care settings:

  • Patient homes
  • Assisted Living facilities, and skilled Nursing and Group Homes  
  • Hospice inpatient unit

Expressive therapists also collaborate with Hospice Bereavement and Community Grief Support to facilitate various therapeutic interventions for programming such as Storm Clouds & Rainbows and Camp Blue Skies.

Share Your Story

Expressive Therapies are made possible through the generosity of donors like you. Please consider making a donation today!

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Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo's Director of Expressive Therapies, Abigail Unger and University at Buffalo School of Nursing magazine editor, Sarah Goldthrite, discuss the impact of expressive therapy in the latest issue of UBNursing

  • "Hospice made my dad’s last days more comfortable. But more importantly, they made things easier for my mother."
    – Rick Mahoney
  • 'Hospice in its entirety is a wonderful organization. Once my dad had stopped chemo, he had hospice coming to the house for 3 months or so. All of the people, from nurses to social workers to the chaplain, were so caring of him and the family. Once things got too bad, he was admitted to the hospice facility and everyone there was just as wonderful. They were caring and respectful of my dad and of our family. I want to thank all involved with them for making the end a little easier."
    – Michael John
  • “I really didn’t think anyone could help me until Home Connections became involved. Dr. Kerr visited me and gave his undivided attention, focusing on my symptoms and less on my disease. I finally feel like I will get back to normal one day. When the nurse from Home Connections came in, I felt so much relief that she was able to help communicate with all of my doctors. It’s very stressful to have to do all of that on my own. I cannot thank Home Connections enough for working to get me a new mattress. I can't believe someone would do this for me!”
    – Kim, Home Connections patient
  • "I've had several family and friends assisted through Hospice Buffalo. Each situation was unique to the other, but Hospice and their caring professionals were amazing in each."
    – Vickie Eberth
  • "I can’t say enough good things about Hospice Care! The care my mother was given was actually loving care. They did not treat her differently because she was in her 80s; they still took care of her. They all were wonderful, making sure she was turned when she was supposed to be, always made sure she was comfortable, talked to her as she was, a human being, even though she couldn’t talk anymore. Mom knew she was now in good care and so did we. They always made sure the family was doing OK also. I call them angels on Earth! Thank you for caring!"
    – Bernadette Spinnegan
  • “Imagine the miracle of someone saying to you, ‘Don’t worry about anything. If you need a doctor’s appointment or something from the grocery store, call me and I will have a volunteer pick it up for you. If you need somebody to help you with anything, call me. We are here for you.’ Such comforting words from my Social Worker.”
    – Shirley Rosenthal, Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo Patient
  • "Not coming here but if you need the care this is a great place! The staff is unreal! They show in every way they are not robots they truly care! The facility is very comforting!"
    – Joe Caulfield Sr.
  • I wish I could personally thank each person that helped us with my dad (if you knew him when he was well, you would have enjoyed his humor and zest for life)
    – Deborah
  • "I would like to thank Hospice on behalf of myself and my family. They cared for my father while he was in the facility. Great staff and it really takes special people to care for the patients in the facility. They are helpful to the families as well. My dad was very comfortable until the end."
    – The Taylor Family
  • "A wonderful place! The staff is very caring and compassionate, not only to the patient but their families too. I can’t thank them enough."
    – Janice Marie
  • I admire all the people involved in Hospice. They are very strong and very tender...I know...had them for my wonderful husband Nick.
    – Evelyn, Buffalo
  • "What an amazing place to trust the end-of-life care of a loved one."
    – James Kelly
  • "Mom lost her battle with cancer today. The beautiful people and facilities that comprise Hospice made her last days full of love and dignity. I cannot properly express what it meant to our family. I'll never forget it."
    – Rebecca Richter Bonk
  • “We are so thankful for the angels sent to our family through Essential Care, for Matthew's wonderful, loving personality,
    the time we have as a family, and our faith.”
    – Linda Evans
  • "Hospice has offered me great comfort as I carry heavy grief. It is a sacred place for me; a place I still visit to visit with my Angels. Thank you Hospice for always being there for me."
    – Stacy Schwab
  • "I absolutely love Hospice! The people that help us are all amazing. I've never been able to rely on people like I do with the group that is helping us. Everyone is on top of everything. The nicest people to deal with! I can't thank them enough."
    – Debbie M. Rich
  • "Music was a very important part of my family's life. I loved my mother's smile, and music therapy made her smile, every time, all the time. The music therapist often welcomed others in the nursing home to join in, giving my mother extra socialization. I will always be grateful for the care my mother received through Hospice Buffalo and the special extras like music therapy."
    – Lisa Feldman
  • "The help we received while my husband was sick at home was terrific and the counseling I received for the last 13 months after his passing was wonderful. I miss you all very much."
    – Lois, Tonawanda
  • "They are all so caring and compassionate. Even the woman who cleaned my husband's room was so sweet and caring. I can't say enough good things about Hospice Buffalo."
    – Teresa Raiff Izzo
  • "Hospice Buffalo is amazing! The in-home care and now the acute care my grandfather is receiving is the best. They are so supportive and such special people. Not only are they taking care of my sick grandfather but also taking care of us, the family, and checking in to make sure we ate too and be there for us to ask any questions. So thankful for Hospice Buffalo."
    – Ashley Marcantonio
  • "Shout out to Hospice Buffalo home health Team 5 who has been helping us with dad the past couple of months. They sent him a nice Veteran’s Day card with a star from an old flag. They are all so nice from his two aids, nurse, social worker, massage and music therapist, who sings and plays guitar, and even the volunteer who cut his hair along with my sister, sister-in-law and brother. It takes a village! But I know he appreciates the help and company, and being able to stay in his home. Update: Hospice continues to be kind to my dad. I know Medicare pays for expenses and that is wonderful too but the care given is great. He turned 94 on the December 3rd. Hospice brought him nice cards, a lap blanket, and his favorite chocolate cake with chocolate frosting! Thanks again!"
    – Lynda Gordon
  • "Been a volunteer since my grandfather passed in Hospice due to the phenomenal care from Hospice. 100%."
    – Audra Hollander
  • "A very attentive staff that is non- intrusive, yet extremely attentive. The staff really goes out of their way to make sure you have everything you need for this transition. My mother passed on July 23rd. The final prayer was comforting and very well spoken. I really think highly of this place because I've never seen a group of people that really tend to your loved ones so delicate. Thank you Hospice Buffalo for doing so much for my family."
    – Pubg Hero
  • It was nice to know I could finally relax and trust a group of really caring folks.
    – Nancy, Buffalo
  • "My sister and my friends have been at Hospice and passed there. It is the most peaceful, compassionate place to be for the last days! You are welcome to visit at any hour! When I have seen others pass recently I thought ‘Why weren’t they at Hospice?’ They have a special staff there uniquely qualified for a special calling. God bless them and let us keep it going!"
    – Cindy Trojanowsky
  • "Wonderful staff! They made the process so much easier for me and my family. I couldn’t thank them any more for taking great care of my mother. Thank you all!"
    – Sissy Driscoll