As seniors living in nursing homes are confined to their rooms due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Friendly Home in Brighton is providing an opportunity for families to connect with their loved ones through music.
“Since our residents’ families cannot come to visit, all of us in the life enrichment and social work departments have been working hard to help bridge those familial and social connections in every meaningful way we can,” said Sam Snyder, neurologic music therapist. “Guitar Grams are a way to help families stay involved in their loved ones’ lives while bringing personalized live music and messages of love right to their doors.”
Families can send songs and dedications to residents via email. Snyder will then perform in the doorway to the resident’s room. He also plays the requested songs as he strolls through the halls of the Friendly Home and as part of his weekly Piano Lounge, which is broadcast to residents on the internal TV channel.
“The Guitar Grams that Sam plays for the residents light up their days and puts a smile on their faces,” said Mary Blind, whose family sent a few Guitar Grams to her mother featuring the tunes of Frank Sinatra. “It connects them with their past by playing songs they have loved through the years and hopefully reminds them of their family.”
Residents report knowing their families are sending love their way as they sing and clap along to the Guitar Grams.