Mudcat Café message #803655 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49818   Message #803655
Posted By: Genie
15-Oct-02 - 12:45 PM
Thread Name: Getting nursing home gigs
Subject: RE: Getting nursing home gigs
related thread:   
neurobiology and music


"...I wonder about the legalities of calling your work therapy...." 
- Well, the states I work in seem to allow activity directors and recreation
therapy directors to count memory-stimulation music groups, one-to-one
room music visits, rhythm instrument groups, etc., as "music therapy." 
I don't use that term for all sing-alongs or strolling music I do,
and I certainly don't call it that when I'm playing for happy hour. 
I don't use the term for what I do unless the rec. tx director hires
me for an activity that he or she has already designated as "music therapy."

As for folks dancing while I'm playing and singing, that is usually
under the control of the facility staff, and they have liability insurance
partly to cover just such things.  (Usually they err in the direction
of caution -- keeping ambulatory residents in wheelchairs, e.g., because
they might fall while walking.)

If I am left on my own to do a group activity -- a situration I avoid
for groups of folks with various kinds of dementia and/or physical frailty
-- I don't invite folks to get up and dance.  (I often invite them
to move --e.g., tap their feet or clap along -- in their chairs.

The points that your RMT friend bring up are valid, but I don't see how calling something "entertaiment" or just "music" would keep those dangers from being present. Keep in mind
that residents in nursing homes have many kinds of stimuli and activities
as part of their "activities" or "recreation therapy" program which have
the same potential hazards.  Activity directors and/or  their
assistants and sometimes CNAs often conduct exercise classes.  Facilities
hiring licensed PT/OT people for all these activities is becoming rarer. 
I think the key is to work under the auspices and guidance of the staff
who are trained in those areas.  (In my case, I am not untrained
in matters having to do with ergonomics [I've taught courses where that
was part of the content], the psychology and physiology of emotions, although
the licensed music therapists probably have more training in that area.)

Sorry to leave this kinda up in the air.  -- I have to go do music
at an assisted living residence and a convalescent center. be continued ...