Hollis had a suspicion that this woman was cognitive, at least at this moment. Hollis also had a suspicion that this woman had experienced hallucinations in the past and might be looking to confirm she wasn’t hallucinating. Hollis approaches but doesn’t stop her from touching Bright Hawk.
As the group grows in size the positive energy is increased and more people are singing. Often in these later moments, we will see people living with aphasia, singing with us, singing with the group, a simple word. Singing “Love” – over and over with both of us, and the entire group, encouraging each other. The room always changes after that song, like turning on the wake-up switch!
As I squatted in front of her I begged for the answer, “What is the meaning of Life?” I looked her in her eyes and she said,
Some vibrations they could ‘hear’ in a different way, even ‘feel’ in a different way. The woman was clearly moved and Hollis continued to engage the group.
Each time in the circle she would tear up when Bright Hawk would talk about Hawaii. When Hollis would lean in to invite her to dance, she would happily join in on the hula dance we do for the Hawaii story. She would smile big and each time she would say the same thing, “Ohhh I remember doing the hula with my husband on our honeymoon!”
Working with people in nursing care is challenging and when they also have dementia it can easily drain the energy reserves of even the most passionate nurse, activity director or direct caregiver. As a CNA, Certified Nursing Assistant, we are taught this in our training. I was aware that there was a potential to burn out as a CNA and as I moved from one…
Anyone that has worked with groups KNOWS that is more than half the group is feeling happy & joyous the rest of the group follows suit. This group had over 40 individuals excited to sing, dance, exercise, and listen to stories that warm the heart and inspire the soul. The group goes from chaotic and ‘just another day’ to smiling, hugging, and singing. Activity directors get excited when they see their group happily exercising together and are moved when they witness their transformation into happy & joyous folks.
Let’s Dance engages them in a profound way leaving them in a wake of hugs, exercise, big smiles, and uplifted moods. We engage people that haven’t engaged in months with music that opens up the heart and a lifetime caregiver that approaches residents one on one. Even cognitive communities love to have us visit because they know they are supporting our visits to their peers in memory care units.
Activity directors would validate our suspicion when they would say “I have never seen anything like this!” or “I cannot believe you engaged Judy, she hasn’t opened her eyes in months!” or “I was so surprised when Marjorie began dancing and singing with you! She never comes to activities!”
People with Dementia form new memories at Let’s Dance We know that people with dementia are often triggered by music they KNOW and recognize. At Let’s Dance we are fascinated that somehow individuals are engaged in the new music, remember to sing words, remember dance moves from last year and most of all they remember having a great time. Even though we introduce completely new…