Assisted Living Week 2014: The Magic of Music
“One good thing about music – when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Bob Marley, singer-songwriter, musician (1945-1981).
“You made me love you… I didn’t wanna do it, I didn’t wanna do it…” crooned the one-man band guy. His voice was smooth and strong, his stage presence compelling, his keyboard skills impressive. But just a few bars into his rendition of the song that topped the charts in 1913, the audience started hissing and booing, and I mean LOUD.
With a stunned expression, the one-man band guy stopped and stood motionless. A member of the audience hollered, “Enough with this tired old stuff! We want Elvis! We want Beach Boys! We want Beatles! WE WANT ROCK AND ROLL!”
This was an eye-opening experience for the one-man band guy. You see, his audience was made up of elderly men and women — assisted living residents, many of whom arrived for the concert with walkers and wheelchairs. Luckily, he was able to quickly switch gears and as soon as he started belting out “Blue Suede Shoes,” the audience cheered, waved, clapped and tapped their feet, and some got up to dance (or at least try to dance). The room came alive and any pain that may have been there dissolved.
I’m so glad I was there, with my late father, to witness it. It opened my eyes, too, and made me realize that although I was raised on Beatles and still faithfully listen to their music, when I’m elderly the songs that once hit me may be boring by then and I will want to jam to Carly Rae Jepson or One Direction.
Heart ‘n Home is excited for the 2014 theme, “The Magic of Music,” to celebrate National Assisted Living Week, September 7-13, 2014. We have long seen the magic when the music hits a patient, be it a tune from their generation or any other. Music has the power to evoke memories, initiate conversations, inspire movement, uplift spirits, and bring people together. Want proof? Watch this clip.
If you know someone residing in an assisted living facility, visit that person during National Assisted Living Week. Ask about their favorite music, who their favorite artists are, and why they like that particular music. Ask whether he or she can hum a few bars of a favorite song, and then applaud. Sometimes just talking about music is enough to hit you and take away your pain. The music to their ears will be magical!