The Answer

Tabitha Blog
Eastridge Hospice Singers

Patty Niemann (front row, center) leads the Eastridge Hospice Singers a cappella as clients and families enjoy the performance.

Noteworthy Volunteers

Tabitha Tunes In to the Power of Music Therapy

The idea that music has therapeutic value is by no way new. The discovery dates back to ancient Egypt where it was seen as an integral part of the healing process. And Greek philosophers, Aristotle and Plato, recognized the benefits of melodies to help overcome emotional difficulties. Today, studies show that music impacts both behavior and emotions, making people less anxious and overwhelmed, more relaxed and happier. 

Patty Niemann, a Tabitha Meals on Wheels and Hospice Volunteer, has devoted her life to music. She worked for 34 years as a Lincoln Public Schools elementary vocal music teacher, helping children discover their voices. Even after retiring, she continues to pursue her passion through the Eastridge Presbyterian Church’s Hospice Singers group. 

Patty came across an inspiring article about a Hastings Hospice Choir performing for those nearing the end of life. Eager to learn more, she contacted the founder of the choir, her good friend and music educator, Tom Michalek. After learning similar groups were prevalent throughout New England, she set out to increase the awareness and presence of this music ministry in the Midwest. With Tom’s helpful consultation and God leading the way, she reached out to colleagues and fellow Eastridge Presbyterian Church members to form the Lincoln-based hospice singing group. 

The group began in October 2018 with 16 singers. All members received volunteer training through Tabitha Hospice

Patty chose Tabitha for the choir’s debut as she had experienced firsthand the compassionate, expert care her Mother had received, first through Tabitha’s short-term rehabilitation and ultimately with hospice care. 

After a few practice sessions, one snowy December Sunday, they performed in front of their first audience at Tabitha’s Journey House, which is dedicated to end-of-life care. 

Now with 25 members, the group has completed 65+ heartwarming visits. Each incorporates a customized song list based on the hospice client’s generation, church denomination, interests, special requests and the time of year. Song sessions last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. 

Many times the choir is invited into hospice clients’ homes with family and nursing staff present. Often those living in a community environment ask that the group perform in a common area so friends and neighbors can enjoy the music too. They also take part in vigils where they sing for those in the very last moments of life. Each visit has a profound impact on all involved.

“It’s been such a great joy for me to share laughter and smiles during a very tender and emotional time. Music has such a wonderful message of comfort and peace but also of promise,” Patty shared. “I’m thankful that our group exists to help individuals transition from this life to the next through beautiful music.”

The impact the choir has made on Patty and others is invaluable. Through it, she’s strengthened relationships with colleagues, developed new friendships with Tabitha TEAMembers and brings joy to hospice clients and families.

Providing compassionate end-of-life care for over 40 years, Tabitha was the first program to offer hospice in Nebraska and to become Medicare-certified. Hospice provides expert guidance to those with a terminal diagnosis, focusing on symptom control, pain management and personal care assistance as well as grief and bereavement support to clients and their families. Hospice can help, visit for more information.

Learn how you can make a difference as a Tabitha Hospice Volunteer, visit today.

News Feed

December is all about family, festivities, and the gift of … dry skin? Practicing these skincare tips yearlong will help keep your skin looking happy and healthy around the calendar.

Senior care advocates celebrated together for the first time in two years at nonprofit Tabitha’s major fundraiser, The Signature Event, Nov. 11, at the Country Club of Lincoln. Read more.

Tabitha Meals on Wheels joins Meals on Wheels America and Subaru of America in Sharing the Love this Holiday Season. Learn more.

Two longtime Nebraska Senior Care providers—Lincoln-based Tabitha and Omaha-based Immanuel—are collaborating to expand Tabitha's home health care and hospice services to the Omaha metro area. Learn more.

Tabitha was voted the Best Home Care Provider in Lincoln by area residents for the 13th year in a row in the annual Best of Lincoln rankings. Read more.

As an approved education site through the Nebraska Health Care Association, Tabitha is pleased to offer a pathway to becoming a Nursing Assistant (CNA). Space is limited—apply today.

Tabitha was again voted Grand Island Independent’s annual best In-Home Health Care and fan favorite for Hospice Care by area residents. Read more.

Tabitha is honored to be nominated for Best In-Home Care in the annual York Reader's Choice Awards. We need your help to win! Vote for Tabitha daily between Sept. 13-26

Life has been hard lately on us all, but September is National Self-Care Awareness Month. It’s a month dedicated to checking in with yourself, being kind to your inner monologue and truly making sure you get what you need to fill up your cup.

GracePointe by Tabitha, Assisted Living & Memory Care Suites, celebrates 10 years of exceptional quality care. The Senior living community is located on Tabitha’s main campus in the heart of Lincoln, Neb. Read more.

Tabitha is honored to be nominated for Best of Lincoln in Home Care, Retirement Community, Physical Therapy and Large Company to Work. Please vote for Tabitha through August 31 at

Vote Tabitha for best hospice and in-home care company in the 2021 Best of Grand Island contest between now and August 22. Learn more.

While normally “back to school” is reserved for children, it turns out that this time of year is important for every age. That’s because you’re never too old to continue learning, and it can help you live up to your true potential in everyday life.

Adults who engage in exercise decrease their risk for and even lessen the symptoms of heart disease, osteoporosis and other illnesses. Consider small, simple ways you can stay active with this health tip.

Lincoln’s Gateway Sertoma Club and Tabitha joined forces for 19th annual golf event at Lincoln’s NuMark Golf Course, raising over $75,000 to support Tabitha Meals on Wheels. Read more.