Yesterday we gathered at Alzheimer's Association NY Chapter on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan for our graduation ceremony and party! What a journey it's been so far. It may sound strange, but taking this dementia care course and developing my StoriesLoveMusic program feels similar to when i trained to earn my black belt in Hapkido. Going through something very intense and coming out the other side feeling stronger and more clear headed.
I received so much valuable information which i will apply to the music program i am creating AND i met an amazing group of people. Hearing the care givers stories about taking care of people with dementia was very powerful. Their work can be hard and depressing. However, when the focus shifts to giving someone a life of DIGNITY and using truth and humor to do it, it's more inspiring than depressing. The bottom line is, when you are with someone with Dementia, CONNECT with that person, make them feel SEEN AND HEARD. Creativity and Imagination are vital to them, it's a life line to they are.
I remember one of the only times i had a natal chart reading with an astrologer/psychic and she told me my destiny was to always USE MY VOICE TO BE OF SERVICE.
Throughout my life i have created different things with my voice, that have been fulfilling : creating performances for television, radio, films, audio books, music albums etc. After Hurricane Sandy, when James and I visited performed music for a shelter set up for displaced, homeless seniors; i thought, is this how we are treating the elders in our society? Are we valuing them? Are we doing enough to make them feel seen and heard? And i was off to the races, using my voice to be of service. My Call to Action to you? What gifts do you have that you can share with those in need? How can you be of service?
Stay tuned for some blogs on some events i am leading at Alzheimer's Facilities. I will post some triumphs and frustrations so you can learn along with me! Thanks for Reading, ~Ilyana
Executive Director of Stories Love Music, Singer, Story Teller, Coach and Activist.