Maplewood residents Ena Clews and Nancy Hanks leading a singalong during a recent blackout.
Blackout prompts Maplewood staff's creativity
'We had the best program we've had in a while,' says LEC
February 22, 2012
Maplewood staff members recently used their creativity to make the most of a two-hour power outage by engaging nearly all of the home's residents in an impromptu program in the dining room.
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When the blackout occurred about 1 p.m. Feb. 16, the Brighton long-term care home's staff members sprang into action to put together a singalong marathon that ran until 3 p.m., when the power returned.
Life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Rachel Corkery says power outages can be challenging because residents can't watch TV or listen to the radio, so staff's quick thinking in these situations makes a big difference.
About 20 staff members and residents began gathering in the dining room shortly after the power went out to start the singalong, and residents kept showing up during the next two hours, says Corkery.
One resident who plays piano got up and played a few songs for everyone, while another resident who is a trained singer led the group on vocals for an hour, she adds.
By 2 p.m., 48 of the home's 49 residents were in the dining room.
And what did everyone think of the impromptu activity?
"We had the best program we've had in a while," Corkery tells the OMNIway. "What better way to keep us all (entertained) than with a singalong? The residents loved it."
Corkery also notes that two staff members — mother Jane Melvin and her daughter Jackie Jeffries — went above and beyond the call of duty by coming to the home on their day off to help out.
“Jane immediately came over when the power went out” and Jackie was there shortly afterward, says Corkery.
With no power, the home began to cool off, so staff members fetched blankets to keep people warm during the event, the LEC adds.
Ironically, the home was to have an outing that day, which had to be cancelled, due to the situation, and the impromptu performance ended up engaging many more residents than the planned activity, Corkery notes.
The outing was for 10 residents.
"But we might have had seven or eight residents who (would have) wanted to go out," says Corkery.
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