Mudcat Café message #754785 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49818   Message #754785
Posted By: Genie
26-Jul-02 - 02:37 AM
Thread Name: Getting nursing home gigs
Subject: RE: Getting nursing home gigs
Actually, PP, it's "persons of high chronological achievement." *G*

I've met activity directors who were overly vigilant about song lyrics that referred to death, suffering, etc. For the most part, this is silly -- no one is more aware of and, generally, more accepting of their own mortality than folks who live with it daily. Some of the most pointed humor about death and physical/mental decline comes from the seniors themselves (cf. "Get Up And Go."). Still, I don't think songs like "The Cruel Mother," "Edward," and Tom Lehrer's "Irish Ballad" would go over well at most nursing homes and retirement facilities!

Open Mike, re it being "cool in gthere on those hot august days...," don't count on it! One of the occupational hazards of playing in nursing homes is hot flashes--even if you're neither female nor menopausal! The frail elderly do tend to get cold when younger folks think it's too warm. Moreover, a lot of staff members have no common sense about dealing with this. If one person--dressed in shirt sleeves in December-- complains, they'll close windows, turn off fans, and turn up the heat, sometimes till it's 78 to 80 degrees in the room. ( I lost a client once because a kitchen staffer decided to verbally arm-wrestle with me when I tried to get the activity director [who had hired me and was in charge of the program] to helpe me cool off an 80 degree dining room before a program started. [The room had been closed off, with all the lights on, while the rest of the building was much cooler.] She was so convinced that the residents WOULD complain if the room was "cold" that she turned my attempts to modulate the temperature a bit into a major battle--which left the AD mad at me, even though she agreed that 74 or 75 would have been a more reasonable temperature.
If you can perform with normal energy when it's really hot and humid, you'll do fine in nursing homes. I can't. So I've started carrying a portable fan with me year round.