Today didn't go how I thought it would go at all. I was so afraid of the outcome that I procrastinated the completion of my project for nearly a half a year.
Five months ago I hired videographer Victor Espinosa to come to one of my therapeutic music shows and film not only my show but the reaction and participation of the audience. The wonderful people at Pacifica Senior Living in Snohomish were gracious enough to let me capture the show on video. They told me I could come back and watch their Memory Care residents watch the video so I could see if it had the same effect as my live show.
My big hope was that if other people with Alzheimer's, dementia, brain injury or other memory care issues watched it, they could also get the amazing benefits that my live audiences have been getting for the last 8 years.
Like I said, the video was finished 5 months ago but I was so afraid that I was wrong...that the live show wouldn't translate that well to audiences watching the video version. So last week, I finally kicked myself in the butt and called Pacifica Senior Living in Snohomish and made the appointment to come watch their Memory Care residents watch my video. I was so afraid that I didn't even upload it to YouTube until just a few hours before the show.
It was so wierd to walk into a community living room without my guitar and equipment. The director simply turned on the TV (actually it wasn't so simple...turns out smart tv's are WAAAAAY dumber than smart phones, but we figured it out) and I turned on my camera video phone and pointed it at the audience while they watched my video.
At first I thought my biggest fears were coming true. During the first song a couple of them were listening, but there was nothing close to the response I get from my live shows. Little by little though, with encouragement from the staff and myself, they started singing, clapping, tapping their toes, and smiling. There was this one guy who never participated in any way except to put his hands over his ears during one of the louder songs and squinch up his face. I dubbed him "grumpy old man." However, at the end of the show he looked right at me and clapped and smiled and thanked me (I was later told that was not something he normally did.)
I met with the Executive Director after the show and we went over the reactions of the residents. When I showed him 3 or 4 residents who participated he was incredibly shocked. He kept saying things like, "He never does that," and "That's not like her to sing like that," and "She usually can't sit in one place for more than 30 seconds." The more he was amazed by their participation, the more thrilled I became. It was a success!
We made another appointment for me to come in a few weeks and observe them again and see if there is any difference. The community says they plan on using my video as a helpful tool for their memory care residents. One way they may use it is to calm down agitated residents. I'm so freaking happy! I will leave this video on YouTube as a therapeutic resource for caregivers of folks with memory issues (see below).
So...it's true...today didn't go how I thought it would go at all...it went waaaaaaaay better! Yaaaaaay! ❤ ❤ ❤
If you have a loved one with memory care issues, if you are a caregiver, or if you are the Activity Director of a memory care community, give my Therapeutic Video for Memory Care above a try! For best results use the biggest TV screen you can find, set aside 30 minutes to watch this video with them, and follow the cues for participation and encourage them to do the same. I would love to read your comments on how this video is received by your loved ones. Your comments will help me immensely when creating future therapeutic videos.
P.S. Oh, and please subscribe to my YouTube Channel this would help me out a lot...thanks. ❤