If you want, just skip down to the video:)
My main dance group has a performing troupe. We perform Irish ceili and set dances at various festivals, parades, and lately most often, at nursing homes and senior centers. Depending upon the audience, we make time for teaching one of the more simple dances as audience participation. I can't make all of the performances, M's schedule and needs come first, and I don't discount my father's own needs, but I try when I can just like others do. It's for fun and to share with others. Besides, I'm getting to check out places for my father, too, eh? M's Irish stepdance performing troupe visits nursing homes and senior centers as well (and schools and etc.), without the audience participation but often with time for questions and answers (which TCRG/teacher Ma is great with!).
A few weeks back, the particular audience my group had for a large nursing home complex, were primarily wheelchair bound. I always do better communicating more with just a couple people, then with large groups. One man in particular had tubes and other items, could hardly talk and was not in great shape, almost completely immobile on his back and his one leg straight out. I could hardly understand him, but I looked him in the eyes and TRIED to udnerstand and converse. I think he said "Ireland" at one point in our conversation, and I faked a general response as I couldn't tell the rest of his question or statement, later making sure to wave goodbye to him when we all waved and left. We had the music for Sweets of May playing for the North Kerry Set, rofl, but they didn't know nor care:) They participated by clapping.
Last night we gathered at a senior center, where people come for activities and care primarily in the day but a full months worh of evening events for those with transportation. A lot of eager dancers came up to try it out from this group! One man said he used to be an active square dancer, and a women in an orange sari was my partner for the Siege of Ennis. Hmmm, she can bare her midriff, yet I'm 45 and don't dare bare mine anymore? Unfortunately, the music was a bit fast even for "regular" dancing of it. One woman had hip trouble and couldn't sidestep so they worked out something else. My partner did fine but couldn't quite keep up so stepped out after we'd passed through to the two next lines (it's a progressive, i.e., ceili dance). Others who tired were able to stay for the whole thing, enjoying it.
A couple dances later, E and I were tops for the Clare Lancers performance-version set. A very fast-paced Matt Cunningham 4:49 minute version. I LOVE it. Love it, love it. It looks fast and more complicated, and done well, also looks nice. After, walking back out of the room (to where they had us when not dancing), I laughed with my former lady partner, "So, you'll be doing this one next?!" She laughed and held my arm and her friends laughed with her. *I* get something out of this when there's a connection, when someones day is brightened or they just enjoy themselves a moment. (Admittedly, dancing usually does that for me, too, forget the rest of the world for a while, especially if dancing tops with E.)
The Meals on Wheels driver for Wednesdays called me yesterday. Dad had asked him to, some problem with Dad's cell phone again (I had to ask Doug to assist with, cuz cell phone company won't believe me that I'm a man). The man apologized for bothering me, for mentioning something he'd noticed that nicely we're taking care of, anyway, said he didn't know how often I got by and if I'd noticed and he shouldn't have brought it up.... Huh? Does he get hostile responses? Heck, what if I hadn't noticed. I'm there at least weekly usually more often, but seems in many families it's less from what this guy was saying. I'm happy he told me and I thanked him. I thanked him for his helping out. He said he took care of his wife for 2 years, so he knows how it is. (The Thursday driver just called me now, putting Dad on the phone. Great, cuz I could explain to Dad that I can't pretend to be him with the phone company and that Doug is going to contact them. Yep, Doug is more understanding now, when he IS needed. Dad's feeling relief that I have receive the message, that I hear him, that I'm working on it. Bless these drivers.)
I didn't know that one Senior Center was so close by and had evening programs. It's likely not the closest one to my father, but I'll still check into it. The style is more what my father could accept right now, he has dementia but doesn'trequire full medical care. It could ease the transition, help him more socially, etc. I joked w/ a girlfriend, so, is this how it'll be for us? Well, sigh, hopefully really, at least at first. Some had their adult kids pick them up, some drove themselves. Computers there and puzzles and books and a big bingo board. But, active, with a nice social group aspect. That's still needed.
Aunt Beth turned 62 this month, not so old to me:) My parents, all three, are intheir 70's. Seniors, yes, not ELDERLY per se. I joke with really nice tattoo-wearing , Harley and Stones loving coworker who is going to turn 40 years old this year, that she'll be only 10 years away from being able to join the Red Hat Society rofl. But, that's okay. I miss my grandmother sometimes. I learned a lot from not even considering writing her off (at 96), learning a lot from her, too, as only a grandparent figure can truly impart to a grandchild.
I love this video -- I don't know how to insert photos (large-like, inthe middle of text), or videos themselves. So, please click on this link:
Quoted directly from : www.myspace.com/thezimmersband
"The oldest and greatest rock band in the world - meet The Zimmers and their amazing cover of The Who's "My Generation". Lead singer Alf is 90 - it's quite something when he sings "I hope I die before I get old". And he's not the oldest - there are 99 and 100-year-olds in the band!
The Zimmers will feature in a BBC TV documentary being aired in May 2007. Documentary-maker Tim Samuels has been all over Britain recruiting isolated and lonely old people - those who can't leave their flats or who are stuck in rubbish care homes.
The finale of the show is this group of lonely old people coming together to stick it back to the society that's cast them aside - by forming a rock troupe and trying to storm into the pop charts.
Some massive names from the pop world have thrown their weight behind The Zimmers... The song is produced by Mike Hedges (U2, Dido, Cure), the video shot by Geoff Wonfor (Band Aid, Beatles Anthology), and it was recorded in the legendary Beatles studio 2 at Abbey Road.
Look out for the single being released from May 21 - with proceeds going to a good cause."
Tags: , The Zimmers My Generation, eldercare, Meals on Wheels, Irish ceili and set dancing