Mudcat Café message #3301778 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #143037   Message #3301778
Posted By: YorkshireYankee
03-Feb-12 - 07:44 PM
Thread Name: Entertaining dementia patients
Subject: RE: Entertaining dementia patients
Great story, S.A. -- love it!

I've been waiting to see if Big Al Whittle would contribute to this thread, 'cos he's done a lot of singing in centres for older folks and is a real pro. He was kind enough to invite me along on one of these gigs (so I could see if it was something I thought I might do) and it was a pleasure to watch/listen to him.

One thing he did particularly impressed me: he made physical contact with every single resident in the room. He set some peppy music playing (I think it was a well-known old song over here, tho I've never heard it before or since; it may have been called "Hello!" -- certainly repeated that word many times), then went 'round the room shaking hands with the men and (or kissing the) women. He did this in a genuinely friendly, unaffected way (not patronising, or like he was doing them a favour). They all seemed (to me) surprisingly eager to make this contact with Al, and it occurred to me that physical contact might be something these folks didn't get much of anymore.

Anyway, I made a mental note to remember that well if I ever decided to do such a thing myself, and I believe it's worth passing along...

Good luck to you, Northerner, and my admiration goes to you, Genie, Big Al, Joe, 999, and all others who share their gifts in this way. As I see it, it's a way of lifting the spirits of a significant number of people, and making the world a bit better to be in, and I respect them for it.

S.A. -- if that's your idea of hell, then if/when you're in the nursing home, just don't attend. I'm sure there are enough folks who do enjoy their efforts to make it worth doing.