My name is Glenda Walsh Crouse and I work with humans who are in transition. I provide compassionate care through my work as a Clinical Musician and as a Death Doula. I am a member of The Order of the Good Death.
I currently reside in Westminster, MD with my husband and three adorable, but destructive cats. I also run a music school called Westminster Suzuki Strings.
As a Clinical Musician, I use therapeutic music on the violin to provide comfort at the beside of patients. Therapeutic music is an art based on the science of sound and is intended to alleviate the physical, mental, and emotional suffering that can accompany illness, trauma and the end stages of life. I meet patients exactly where they are, in the moment, with no objective or goal other than to provide comfort, grace and a healing environment. Sessions are prescriptive and therapeutic. I do not “perform” as the focus is on the care of the patient and not the musician. Clinical musicians provide services in hospitals, hospice, skilled nursing facilities, doctors offices and in individuals homes. We generally work with patients in the ICU, PICU, NICU, Med/Surg, oncology and Alzheimer’s/Dementia units. Therapeutic music is delivered in live sessions rather than through recorded sessions. Live bedside music allows the practitioner to change the music to meet the patients changing needs. Human connection factors into healing, this type of connection and community is not delivered through pre-recorded music. Clinical musicians are trained and certified through accredited programs and the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians. My work as a Clinical Musician can overlap with my work as Death Doula for patients in hospice/palliative care as music is often a tool doulas use to create a peaceful environment during vigils.
Benefits of therapeutic music include: reduction in anxiety, stabilization of vital signs in critically ill patients (heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure). Patients receiving music heal faster and have shorter stays in facilities. Reduction in pain—requiring less pain medications, induce deep relaxation helping to boost the immune system. Patients who receive music before surgery are more relaxed and require less anesthesia, reducing side effects. Therapeutic music provides Alzheimer’s patients with stimulation that allows them to access old memories and helps to bridge communication gaps. Therapeutic music can also help to ease the transition for patients nearing the end of life.
A Death Doula (end of life Doula or death midwife) is a trained professional who provides education and comfort throughout the dying process. We provide respite for family members and honor the meaningful and sacred act that is the dying process. Compassionate care is offered on many levels; emotional, spiritual, physical and educational. A Doulas goal is to help individuals by honoring their final wishes and allowing for a death with dignity. Our services complement the care provided by family, friends and medical, palliative, hospice, legal and funeral professionals. Services are provided in hospitals, senior care facilities, and private homes. Death doulas receive specialized training in order to provide their support.
Doulas are advocates for the dying and their loved ones. Services are positive, non-judgmental and nonsectarian. We welcome working with individuals from all backgrounds, cultures and religious views. we are guides—helping to navigate trough the overwhelming amount of information and options that come with end of life care and funeral planning. Education for disposition options is provided so individuals may choose the option that is most comfortable. We help people to communicate openly with their families about death. We can provide rest for exhausted family members by taking care of practical day to day tasks such as running errands.
Doulas aid in end of life planning for individuals regardless of their current state of health. Having your wishes documented in advanced can ease the burden on family members should you pass unexpectedly. I help individuals access and complete end of life documents. Doulas help individuals plan their funeral and other death rituals so that they may pass with dignity and with their needs and wishes honored.
In the event that a person chooses to die at home, Doulas help families care for the individual after they have passed. Doulas May also sit with families in vigil as a loved one passes. We help families process emotions and guide them through the early stages of grief after their loved one has passed.
We help individuals reflect on the meaning of their lives and the impacts they had on others and processes their grief. Doulas educate on the symptoms of dying and the dying process to help lessen anxiety and stigma.
Last, Death Doulas maintain a network of local professionals and experts that families may be referred to if needed.
What People Say
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.Walt Disney
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.J. K. Rowling
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.Dr. Seuss