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  • Writer's pictureClaudia Paige

Written by Claudia Paige - Octopus RhythmWorks at Evergreen Memory Care

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Using empathetic communication and validation techniques through drumming and music at "Evergreen Memory Care" today! Smiles, laughter, some frustration and happiness… People following me and tracking left and right as I drum. I play, they repeat. Then back to drumming to music. We stop in a song and lift our arms and breathe. Then 1 2 3 let's all play the drum! It was a big program today. Probably over 25 people. All in RhythmHealing! I see Lisa walking around handing shakers to people that didn’t want to drum. She sits on the floor and smiles and encourages and drums out rhythms and people start to engage more. It is powerful to see someone that wants to be in the circle but does not want to participate in drumming. No words, his eyes though are wide open and he is looking off in the distance and then he starts to see. His eyes change, he is slowly moving his body. He starts to look around, I can see him engaging but not verbally and not through the drum. He is listening, starting to move more. Winchester Cathedral being sung by Frank Sinatra, a smile, then looks away. Then to see the softness in his eyes when The Mama’s and the Papa’s song California Dreamin’ comes on! There is a memory happening. Navigating the complexity of memory care gets better and better for me. I am in awe with our elders. Walking history. A story to be told and why not through the drum and in a circle of safety. I can’t thank Lane County Cultural Coalition & Cultural Trust enough for the grant and for believing in Octopus RhythmWorks RhythmHealing program. For more information on Octopus RhythmWorks, visit our website at Thank you for your support! I hope to bring this program to more assisted living and memory care communities and to at-risk kids and other vulnerable populations. #seniorsdrumming #seniorliving #drumming #healthandwellness

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