Filed under Honoring Our Elders, Inspiring, VIDEOS, World Music
It horrifies me to think of Sikh elders in Western elder care facilities. The employees of most Assisted Living and Nursing Homes are kind and loving women, who are grossly over-worked and underpaid. They do not make a living wage nor do they have any health insurance here in the USA. They suffer from caregiver burnout – remember those they serve tend to die on them. They have no Union. They are allotted 1/2 hour to get you up, toiletted, showered, dressed, and headed to breakfast. They simply do not have time for a Sikh’s hair, much less a Sikh’s turban.
the last shot in the video says it all. 8) i’m sure that there are many older musicians who would love to say the same thing. there’s a lady trombonist who sits next to me in the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band who has a walker and is almost blind, who, if it wasn’t for a devoted family who gives her a ride to and from all rehearsals and performences, probably wouldn’t get out much… but she’s an excellent trombonist. i doubt that she’d get much sympathy if she had no relatives and was in an “old folks home”. after all “love your neighbour even if he (or she) plays the trombone” is not widely followed in our society these days.
good to connect with you, kamalla! 8)
Hello Brother Trombone,
Nice to see you here.
I worked for an agency for a short spell that sends caregivers to elder’s homes. One of my clients suffered from some short-term, and lots of mid-term memory loss. Her long term memory was fine and she was still very smart and quick. So to aid her through her days, she had clocks in every room and her daily schedule posted in plain sight everywhere. In this way she was able to remain very productive – tend her own hygiene and cook her own meals. But she wasn’t happy. She wandered around from once scheduled activity to the next in a state of gnawing discontent – never quite remembering what she was missing.
Turns out she was a trumpet player, in fact she had taught music and led a band as her career, and she also performed classical concerts as a soloist. She had been an excellent musician.
Soon as I met her, I found her trumpet and asked her all about her life. She was thrilled to discover her instrument again, but she got distressed when she could not play it.
“You haven’t kept your chops up.” I reminded her. “How long will it take to get them back if you practice everyday?”
We soon figured that it would take a couple weeks and we marked her schedule. We wrote a note to remind her that she needed to get her chops back and to not worry about sounding bad. Later we set up a practice schedule. We wrote a note reminding her that, though she couldn’t play as fast as she once did, that she could still play beautiful music. We scheduled in “free play” (improvizational music-making) time, for her to simply play from her heart.
Not surprisingly, she suddenly became content and happy.
Kamalla R. Kaur
you’ll connect with me more frequently now that i’ve subscribed to your blog. if you have an agregator, you can do so with mine, as well: Scab of a nation, driven insane… 8)
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Google+ account. ( Log Out / Change )
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.