Mudcat Café message #756663 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49818   Message #756663
Posted By: Genie
29-Jul-02 - 08:29 PM
Thread Name: Getting nursing home gigs
Subject: RE: Getting nursing home gigs
M.Ted., I'm sure the well-established entertainers in Florida's retirement-home circuit wouldn't take much gaff from the kitchen staff.  Where the entertainment/activity is highly valued, and paid a commensurate fee, the administrator would probably not be happy if an entertainer crossed them off her/his list because of the impertinence of a peripheral staffer.  (When you're just getting established, you have less clout.)

In nursing and convalescent homes, though -- places that have nurses, aides, etc. -- the activity or recreation therapy department is, unofficially, lower on the totem pole than are such "essential" departments as nursing and dietary.  Visitors and staff not only interrupt me, they interrupt the activity director in the middle of story reading, music, or other activities for which residents' attention is important--even memorial services.   I think it's mainly a reflection of the attitude that people do live by bread -- and meds -- alone; art, music, and spirituality are considered non-essential.

Also some staff simultaneously underestimate and overestimate residents' mental abilities.  Some see no point in trying to engage their minds--e.g., with a funny story or a ballad where you have to listen to the whole thing.  Others underappreciate their distractibiltiy, unaware that if they stand in the doorway and wave to residents, or come in and hug them during the program, they are often--no matter how well intentioned--lessening the cognitive and emotional stimulation the residents could have derived if allowed to participate in the activity uninterrupted.