On Thursday afternoons I pack up my keyboard and take myself off to our local Frail Care Centre to make music for the oldies. When I get there, the ladies and a few gents are already seated in THEIR places…….and woe betide anyone who sits in the wrong place.
We set up the keyboard, greet everyone with a hug and a little chat and then we sing to anyone who has or is having a birthday that week.
We have been fortunate to have had special books printed with songs that we found the old folk remembered. Vera Lynn songs from the war time, the younger oldies, know songs from the shows, and the even younger ones, identify with Andrew Lloyd Webers music…Some of it..
We had a break over Christmas and this week I went again. I was shattered to see one lady who had been hale and hearty two weeks before Christmas was wheeled in in a wheel chair. This particular lady always looked as though she had stepped out of a magazine. At 96 she still dressed beautifully, hair always perfect and a lovely smile when you greeted her. She was quite lucid and could hold an intelligent conversation. A real gem.
It was such a shock to see her this week. Apparently she had fallen in her bedsitter a couple of times and now had to be moved into Frail Care proper. From a room with all her belongings and precious things, to a room no more than 2.5m x2.5m. containing a bed a straight chair a table and a cupboard. All this on the south side of the building with no sun and a view of another building. ZERO stimulation. What can they do except stare at the ceiling? SUCH a sadness to see someone regress like that.
The nurse aide seated her in her usual chair. She did not know why she was there or what she should do. Eventually we started singing. At first she was miles away, later I noticed the foot tapping and before the end of the sing-song she was joining in with the songs she knew. What a blessing it is to be able to share with them and love them.
It truly is a case of: “If music be the food of love…play on!”