Tag Archives: Occupational Therapy

Life at brenthurst

Back to the Hawaiian theme of last time – drums beating and Hula girls swaying……..What is it about a beat and body-moving-music that gets one going?  The steady beat thrumming with our hearts anmusic stirring the senses in response?

So it is even with the elderly, at 9.am today in the frail Care – Unit, barely awake after a comfort –food brekkie, the music on and Carers and Residents armed with tambourines / shakers / tapping sticks & clapping.  The sparkof rhythms soon light up tired eyes & feet start tapping.


Then the singing starts and music therapy is in full swing as clapping starts to drown out the music. Who cares if it is in tune?  The blood is now pumping, eyes bright and cheeks flushed in “the history of now” joins in yesteryear when they were a whirl on the dance floor, memories in the making then and now being re-awakened.




The smiles are worth it all and for a while life on the Frail Care unit, known as “Brenton Lodge,” is alive with joy and new delights, where the music of the heart never fades





Matron Lizann Painter

Good morning All,

This morning I had the pleasure of reading an article by: Tammy Lenski on the art of Mediation.

She explained how easily communication can go wrong by having one of the students in her class, tap out their favorite song on a drum.  She asked the rest of the class if they could recognize the song from the drumming. Fifty percent of the students put their hands up, but not one of them guessed the song correctly.

The article ended with a youtube clip of Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole playing, “Somewhere over the rainbow”  on a beach in Hawaii.

The beautiful, lilting music, immediately transported me to my two holidays in Hawaii, smells of lush, damp, undergrowth, and coconut milk filled my nostrils.

A luau with beautiful swayed hula dancers moving to the music.  Rich sunsets on volcanic, black beaches and swimming with iridescent tropical fish in crystal clear waters came to mind.

So imagine my delight when I heard and saw the lovely circle of elderly folk here at Brenthurst Residence singing and clapping to equally evocative music, as they sat in their chairs between the leaves drifting down in our Autumnal garden.

Strains of “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Saviour all the day long” drifted in the air.

I could only wonder, where, being able to sing “It is well with my soul”, transported them to. Smiles, eyes shining with tears brimming, had me saying thank you to being able to facilitate giving them such a wonderful Occupational Therapist in Imaan Abdurahman who so skillfully reached their hearts and memories with her beautiful song choices and melodies to the extent that as the staff were later walking in the garden with residents on their arms, they too were singing the songs as they walked

What a privilege it is for me to be Matron of Brenthurst Residence Nursing Home as “Mother” to these dear folks.

I look forward to writing more info as to the daily living here in the next few blogs.

Please feel free to comment, encourage us, make suggestions and come visit.


Matron Lizann Painter