New programs have seniors ‘moving and shaking’
by WILLIAM WRIGHT
Nov 03, 2010 | 2338 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JOY AND REJUVENATION — Bradley Cleveland Services and nursing students in the nursing program at Cleveland State Community College are bringing fun, excitement and medically beneficial activities to Bradley Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Cleveland. Above, Dr. Corky Alexander, waving a white scarf, leads a team of BCS workers as they rouse seniors at the nursing home in a new “Movers and Shakers” program. Photo by WILLIAM WRIGHT
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Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care may have been a rallying cry to younger audiences at music concerts, but that’s exactly what seniors are doing at the Bradley Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Cleveland.

Senior movers and shakers with huge smiles, waving colorful scarfs and singing along with golden oldies or today’s pulse-pounding beats is the latest partnership between the Comprehensive Development Center at Bradley Cleveland Services and Activities Director Janice Allen of Bradley Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.

The new “Movers and Shakers” program, developed by Dr. Corky Alexander, plans, organizes and directs what he calls “medically beneficial music activities” to influence behavioral and psychological changes in the residents at Bradley Healthcare.

This leads to restoration, maintenance and improvement of health and increased comprehension of self, environment and physical ability, according to Alexander.

“Movers and Shakers also directs and helps residents and service recipients to participate in instrumental and vocal music activities designed to meet service recipients’ physical or psychological needs, such as solo or group singing, rhythmic and other creative music activities,” said Alexander, who is the music service director at BCS.

Watching intellectually disabled recipients at BCS and senior residents at BHCR having fun together, laughing and demonstrating their talents through scarves and movement, hand bells and a groundbreaking Health Rhythms Program, brought smiles to the faces of nurses and visitors who enjoyed watching the sessions.

Health Rhythms is also a new health-based drum program that is being featured in the Alzheimer’s unit at Bradley Healthcare and Rehabilitation. It too is led by Alexander who is a trained facilitator by Remo Drum Company in the Health Rhythms program.

In addition to the “Movers and Shakers” program and “Health Rhythms,” a creative arts initiative brings groups of service recipients from BCS to Bradley Healthcare for community service projects and music activities so that seniors and the intellectually disabled can benefit from their activities together.

The community service projects are led by Cheri Williamson and Becky Esterline at BCS. The projects include the production of greeting cards, which serve the needs of different occasions and the production of other arts and craft creations.

Esterline, an instructor at Bradley Cleveland Services, said, “When service recipients from BCS visit the nursing home to work on service projects with the residents there, the interaction between the two groups has been beneficial to all. The enthusiasm has been obvious. We’ve been welcomed warmly by everyone at the nursing home.”

The three new programs are bringing fun, stimulation and mild health benefits while meeting the special needs of both senior residents and the intellectually disabled, according to Esterline.