Joined: Feb 27, 2005
No. 1 Posted on Feb 27, 2005 5:28 PM
Who would imagine that low functioning adults with Alzheimer's, impairment from stroke, and other challenges that make living difficult could keep a beat? While most of these "well elderly" at Jewish Family Sevices in North Hollywood, CA, can't hear you call them by name, due to hearing loss, they can copy a beat played on a drum!
I worked the HealthRythms protocol with about twenty (20) seniors in Adult Day Health Care. It took the aid of the Activity Director and her assistant to really kick the drum circle into high gear. You should have seen the smiles on their faces when I cued them to 'rumble' at the end of one segment.
The down side was in the ice breaker/shaker pass, which requires the type of coordination and dexterity that we often take for granted. "Pass a shaker to the person next to you" - sounds simple - unless you find it taxing to get in and out of a chair without help.
The truth is that any one of the protocol steps can and should be modified to suit the particular population you are serving.
Score another one for "on the job training".
Know this: If you are breathing and can hold a mallet, then you are never too old to bang out your own rhythm on a drum.