Randy Travis has been rather encouraging to the patients and families at Heritage Hospice in Central Kentucky.
As part of a study, "When Words Fail, Music Speaks", the staff at Heritage Hospice has been increasing the amount of music in its patients' lives, learning the significant impact it can make.
Ruby Daniels, a patient's daughter who is an international health care researcher, brought the idea to the staff.
"It was remarkable what happened," Daniels told Central Kentucky News. "She was excited about it. She was engaged about it. She sat up and we had a conversation about it."
Once Daniels and the staff saw the positive effects, Heritage began training its workers to use music with its patients, also giving one worker the opportunity to enhance and showcase her guitar-playing skills.
Focusing on each patient's particular likes and needs, the music was geared to them, eliciting remarkable responses. One patient who was heavily involved in church was played "Amazing Grace", and without opening her eyes or otherwise communicating, began to sing the words of the hymn.
Country music also touched the life of a patient at Heritage when James Davis was played "Forever and Ever Amen".
"He has sung the chorus every time I play it," social worker Carol Reeser said. "It gets his foot tapping."