Monday, May 2, 2011

May is Older Americans Month

"May is Older Americans Month", "Did you know that May is Older Americans Month", "We celebrate Older Americans Month in May". These are phrases I've heard several times since starting my new job. Translation of these phrases to those not familiar with working as an activity professional.... "May is a very busy month". This is true. Where I work we are having several large events to celebrate Older Americans Month. A Garden Blessing, a 100th birthday party, mother's day social, several special outings, Employee Appreciation, Employee Recognition, a casino night and a very large very special ice cream social. This is on top of all the other regular scheduled events. I think I'll be very tired this month. Maybe I can take a nap in June.

What is Older Americans Month? It was started in 1963, but became a yearly event in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter. Administration on Aging

Every year there is a theme. This year we are using the theme Connecting the Community. We plan on connecting the community through events open to the community, and notices to local papers. I am lucky, the facility I work at is very connected to the community.

So, take some time this month to honor Older Americans. This is a population that is growing in number every day. There will be challenges our country faces with our aging population. We will need to continue to provide services to meet their ever changing needs. I am proud to say I serve the Older American population and have done so my entire professional career.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Busy Busy

It has been over a month since I last posted. Goes to show how busy working full time, being a mom, and wife can be.

I am slowly getting oriented to my new position as an Activity Director. Since my last post the facility had it's annual state inspection. Unfortunately I was unable to fix the years old problems in the activity departments documentation prior to the states visit. So, that is how I have been spending my time. Learning how to write a plan of correction and following through with the plan of correction.

So, I've been feeling the stress of not being home with my family. Sometimes, I feel like I never see my daughter except for combing out tangles in her hair a 630 in the morning, and then again as we rush getting ready for bed. These are common feelings in moms who work outside the home. I call it Mother Guilt. The guilt I feel not being able to give as many hugs or kisses as I would like during the day, having to choose between my daughter being sick and my job, having to let daddy take her to her classes, missing out on fun little outings with my family because I've got to much housework to do.

I chose to go back to work, knowing I would have Mothers Guilt. All mothers do, we just have to learn to deal with the guilt.

Do you ever experience Mothers Guilt?

I hope to discuss in my next post about activity documentation, when and what should be done.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Music Never Stopped Trailer 2011 HD

A few weeks ago, I became aware that the movie The Music Never Stopped was hosting free previews across the country. My area just HAD to be on the list since I live in a large metro area. It was! I sent in for my two free passes and was ready to go! Unfortunately my husband and I were not able to get a sitter (I waited to long), so I offered my other pass to one of my Activity Assistants, and rode there with another music therapist.

This movie tells the story of a young man named Gabe who left his home after a fight with his father. After 20 years, the parents receive the phone call that Gabe is in the hospital and had a brain tumor. They are able to operate, but it left Gabe without any long term memory, and some speech and reasoning skills. In a twist of events, the father, who had become so disconnected from his son, becomes the primary caregiver to Gabe. Visiting him every day and continuously searching for anything to help his son. After contacting a music therapist, the real work begins.
The father believes that the music that Gabe will respond to is what he (the father) played for his son, not Gabe's favorite types of music.
The music therapist demonstrates much patience and compassion for Gabe as she try's various types of music and songs to make a connection. Through the use of Gabe's favorite music (rock music of the 60's) she is able to draw Gabe out of the world his brain injury left him in. He is talking about the music, is exhibiting  compassionate about the music. This music is what caused the strain 20 years earlier between Gabe and his father. His father has to learn to appreciate the music in order to help his son and reconnect with his son.

I could go into more detail here, but I won't. You will have to see the movie to get the whole story.

The Music Never Stopped gave the viewer a glance into how music therapists work with their clients to illicit change/ growth. The music therapist uses familiar music to draw Gabe out, she also uses rhythmic speech exercises with the tambourine to assist Gabe in gaining memory functions. Throughout the movie, I found myself watching how the music affected Gabe. The actor who played him did a fantastic job of showing Gabe as engaged and actively participating during sessions when the music was on. When the music was turned off, he was able to show how Gabe became disengaged in the world, and retreated into himself.

This movie was full of emotions. Sitting in the front of the theater, I could hear the sounds of laughter, empathy, and sadness. All of which were emotions I experienced as well. Most of the emotion was felt when Gabe made progress during his treatment, and the interaction between Gabe and his father.

I highly suggest finding a theater that is offering this movie and go see it. I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

When asked to rate it after the movie.... I gave it 4 out of 4 stars!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Who I Am

This is my theme song! Listen to it and you will find out a little about me. My mama's my biggest fan, I'm clueless and clumsy, but I do have friends that love me!

It is amazing how a song can touch us personally. I'll never forget the first time I heard this song, it was like I was listening to someone tell the story of my life, my thoughts, my feelings. Whenever I need a little "pick me up" I can turn this song on, crank up the volume and sing it at the top of my lungs. It always makes me feel a little bit better.

I wanted to post tonight on my professional career, but after the day I had, I needed my "pick me up" song.

Do any of you have a song that speaks to you? That makes you feel it was written specifically for you? That can brighten an otherwise gloomy day? That can bring you up when you are down?

Maybe tomorrow I can post about my professional career...

Sunday, March 27, 2011


     Greetings! I have been contemplating starting a blog for quite a while now. Over the past few months I have had a couple of major events in my life. I completed my Master of Arts Degree in Music Therapy, and I made the decision to head back to work full-time after being a stay-at-home mom for two years. 
     The decision to head back to work was very difficult for me. For my thesis, I chose to create my music therapy private practice. My goal was to begin my private practice in the Fall of 2011 when my daughter headed off to school. However, a full-time job was presented to me and in today's economy, I felt I's be silly not to accept a job offer. 
     I am now the Activity Director at a Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living facility. Working as an activity professional a few years ago, I wasn't sure I wanted the job. But, I was guaranteed the opportunity to offer music therapy to the residents and build a music therapy program within the activity department. Thus we come to the purpose of this blog. 
    It is my hope that this blog will serve as an outlet for myself as a working mom, and as a music therapist striving for success in the field. I also hope, that this blog will serve as a reference tool for music therapists working in long-term care settings as an activity professional.