As we approach the holidays, many families around the country are preparing to visit family and friends, decorating the house, planning menus and finding the perfect gift. For many of our residents and families, the celebratory holidays can also be a reminder of how things used to be. It can be bittersweet as you try to find a “new normal” and new ways connect with your loved ones during the holiday season.

We’ve seen how a personally meaningful song can positively impact the residents. It touches a part of them that words alone cannot do, improving mood, brightening faces and sometimes even prompting conversation or dance! Here are some suggestions of how you can use music to connect with your family member this holiday season:

1. Make a personalized music playlist using Apple Music, Spotify, Youtube, or any other streaming service. Fill the playlist with meaningful, favorite, or fun tunes from when they were in their 20s.

2. Take opportunities to sing to them. You don’t have to be a professional singer! If you know they love, “White Christmas,” hum or sing the tune as you share moments together. It can be a favorite song, artist, or genre.

3. Join us on campus for music-making at Happy Hour or choir practice. Performances are a fun way to have a shared experience with your loved one as they hum, sing, tap their toes or clap along with the performers!

If you’d like more information on any of the above suggestions or about music therapy at Kensington Park, please email me at mpate@kensingtonsl.com.

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