Healthcare of Older People

I entered a busy bay where there were several visitors and staff members present. My arrival was greeted by a staff member telling patients “the man’s going to sing for you”. There was a patient (I’ll call her Betty) who appeared to be confused and agitated, and her husband was trying to calm her down, but she seemed cross with him for doing so. The level of noise and activity in the bay was relatively high, so I tried to match that energy with a lively folk tune on harmonica and guitar.

As soon as I started, Betty got up and came towards me, reaching her hands out to me. Her husband, wanting to stop her from interrupting me, took her hands, and she then began kissing his hands, and suddenly they were dancing. Staff were watching, enthralled, as they danced together holding hands. I then sang Moon River, while they carried on dancing, and Betty sang along with some of it, and came closer to me to kiss me. By the time I finished Moon River, she was much calmer, and agreed to come and sit down with me to sing some more. Though still a bit grumpy with her husband, Betty was very much calmer and more present in the moment than before this musical interaction.

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