One of the activities I did at the nursing home was called music and memories. We would sing songs about a specific topic such as romance , and I would encourage residents to talk about their first date, first kiss etc. The following poem from How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver briefly profiles my life and emphasizes the fact that if I ever end up in a nursing home, I’ll look back on my life. I’m also including a link to a recording of me singing “Memory” from the Broadway musical Cats. In the song, n old cat reflects on her younger years, and that is one of the things I tried to encourage nursing home residents to do.
In my childhood,
I helped Mother in the house,
went to school, was praised by teachers,
threatened with an eighteen-inch ruler,
played with siblings and friends,
was harassed by schoolyard bullies.
As a teen-ager, I went to high school,
to the prom, graduated.
In my adult years, I went to college,
got a job, was married.
When I grow old,
can’t see, hear, or walk,
depend on others,
I’ll remember my life.