Senior Education Hits a High Note in a Bronx, NY Nursing Home

I always enjoy reading about senior recreation programs that offer options way beyond bingo.  Not that there’s anything wrong with bingo, but when it’s my turn, I’ll be looking for a nursing home with a substantial activities schedule.  A reader — thanks, RR —  informed me of the success of the college-level psychology courses he organizes at his assisted living facility.  (When it’s my turn, maybe I’ll teach one of those…)  The New York Times article excerpted below describes a collaboration between Carnegie Hall musicians and Beth Abraham nursing home that gave residents the experience of a lifetime.

If you’ve heard of an interesting or unusual program for seniors, especially those in the nursing home, please share it in the Comments section.

Weakened by Age and Illness, Hands Teem With Creativity

By SUZANNE DeCHILLO/The New York Times
Published: February 12, 2012

Through the Musical Connections program, residents at Beth Abraham Health Services like Richard Ivory were given the opportunity to collaborate with musicians from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in creating and performing original pieces.
Ms. Previte, 72, who is chronically ill, writes lyrics. She scribbles the words on the back of nursing home menus, mostly songs about love lost or love found.

For two weeks, she joined six other residents at Beth Abraham Health Services in a collaboration with seven chamber music players from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, whose Musical Connections program aims to bring music to a wider audience, in healthcare settings, prisons, homeless shelters and senior service organizations.

Read more…

11 thoughts on “Senior Education Hits a High Note in a Bronx, NY Nursing Home”

  1. Going slightly off topic (yet again) but this story reminds me of my “brain child” idea that I fantasize about if I ever find myself in a SNF.

    How wonderful would it be if College and Universities campuses set aside/renovate /recycle/modify 1 dorm building and make it a place for impaired elders. What a perfect “inter generational marriage” of sorts. Many services are already built in,( wheelchair accessible,plant operations, food service etc.) Students could volunteer,, work study or be employed along with professional health care staff. Students learn from elders. Elders have easy access to classes, concerts and all kinds of happenings. If I knew that on some level my retirement would consist of living my days out on an urban college campus with young movers/ shakers/thinkers/doers…… …..I would absolutely love it!!!!!. (my pie in the sky dream)

  2. What a great idea. We have folks come in and perform for our residents, but nothing like this where it involves them in the performance. We have a handful of residents who would really respond to a program like this.

    • I can think of several who’d enjoy it too, Tracy. And I know the residents watching them perform would appreciate it as well. I saw some very happy faces watching one of the other residents dance during a visit from an entertainer the other day. She made everybody smile. (The entertainer was pretty good too!)

  3. Absolutely love this idea! At some facilities (mostly adult day centers) we’ve had students collaborate with us on arts projects and life review projects.

    @Genie: I like your idea and it isn’t crazy at all. I used to have a very crazy idea of having a facility where there’s both an adult day care component and a child day care component. Some higher functioning older clients could help with child care (with supervision)… Sort of like a foster grandparent program. When I was a kid, I could never understand why one could only adopt a child, not a grandparent… 🙂


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