The Mercy Health Aged & Community Care Pastoral Care Team has been recognised at the Spiritual Care Australia ̶ Best of Care Awards 2018 presented in Newcastle on Tuesday 8 May.
The team won the Outstanding Spiritual Care Team category for their work using reverie harps in aged care homes across Australia.
The reverie harps were introduced to nurture spiritual wellbeing and develop the role of music in end-of-life care.
Mercy Health Aged & Community Care Pastoral Care Manager Michael Taylor says the warmth of living music — as compared to recorded music — can bring a sense of solace, dignity and grace to those nearing the end of their lives.
“The quiet and meditative sounds of the harp can have a profound therapeutic effect on a dying person, soothing their inner soul and bringing them peace and tranquility,” Mr Taylor explains.
“The gentle strums of the harp can draw a person into the depths of the music, leaving them in a state of reverie and helping them to rest in a comfortable deep silence.”
The Mercy Health Foundation purchased 18 of the reverie harps for Mercy Health aged care homes following a generous donation by the late Betty Amsden AO.
“The harp touches the lives of our residents in various ways and can help them transcend the difficulties and challenges they face, including those experiencing loss and grief,” Mr Taylor says.
“For example, for one resident who was grieving the recent loss of his wife, the gentle plucking of the harp strings helped to transport him beyond his grief into an experience of beauty and wonder.”
The Spiritual Care Australia Awards recognise excellence in pastoral and spiritual care. The Outstanding Spiritual Care Team award recognises a team that shows a willingness to care, which contributes to a healthier future for all Australians.
Last reviewed May 9, 2018.