My name is Glenda Walsh Crouse and I serve humans who are in transition. I provide compassionate care through my work as a Clinical Musician and as a Death Doula.
I currently reside in Westminster, Maryland with my husband and three adorable, but destructive cats. I’m also Director/Teacher of 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.
Clinical musicians are educated, trained and certified through accredited programs and the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians.
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, based on the needs of the patient. 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 generally 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.
My work as a Clinical Musician may 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 visits and vigils.
Benefits of therapeutic music include:
- reduction in anxiety
- stabilization of vital signs in critically ill patients (heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure)
- provides Alzheimer’s patients with stimulation that allows them to access old memories and helps to bridge communication gaps
- Patients receiving music heal faster and have shorter stays in facilities
- Reduction in pain; requiring less pain medications
- help to ease the transition for patients nearing the end of life.
- 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
A Death Doula (end of life Doula or death midwife) is a trained professional who provides education and comfort throughout the dying process. Death doulas receive specialized education and training in order to provide support services. I received my education and certificate from the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine’s End -of -Life Doula Program.
Doula’s 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, social 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, various health care facilities, and private homes.
Doulas are advocates for the dying and their loved ones. Services are positive, non-judgmental and nonsectarian.
We welcome 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 or light house work.
Doulas aid in end of life planning for individuals regardless of their current state of health. Having your wishes documented in advance can ease the load on family members should you pass unexpectedly. I help individuals access and complete end of life documents. I help individuals plan their funeral and other death rituals so that they may pass with dignity and with their needs and wishes honored.
Doulas are available to 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. If an individual chooses to die at home, Doulas give families guidance regarding care of the individual after death.
We help people reflect on the meaning of their lives and the impacts they had on others. We help to processes and understand grief. Doulas educate on the symptoms of dying and the dying process to help lessen anxiety and stigma around death.
Last, Death Doulas maintain a network of local professionals that families may be referred to, if needed.
“Because death stirs people to seek answers to important spiritual questions, it becomes the greatest servant of humanity, rather than it’s most feared enemy.”Bhagavad Gita
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
“Music can heal the wounds which medicine cannot touch.”Debasish Mridha