LEXINGTON, Ky. — With help from the community, the Easter bunny will be visiting a long term care facility in Lexington, delivering Easter baskets and stuffed animals to dozens of residents.
“When we bring music to people, it really can activate like memories and happiness and a sense of peace, and I just think it's so powerful for older adults to experience that,” said Paula White, activities assistant at Sayre Chrisitan Village.
White helps create and bring activities to the residents, and she said music therapy is just one of the many activities she uses to help the residents feel connected.
“Really makes people connect to each other and to themselves and awakens memories. It makes the body move. And it also can really elevate mood, [and] make people feel happy,” White said.
White said it’s about showing the residents they can do anything they set their mind to, even if it's a new experience like playing the drums.
“The first thing one woman said was, 'I don't know how to play a drum.' I said you don't need to know how to do it. It's all about having fun, being creative, and then by the end of the session together they're saying, 'Oh I didn't know I could do that,'” White said.
Elise Hinchman, vice president of marketing and development at Sayre Christian Village, said it’s been a heartbreaking year with COVID-19, and music therapy has been one support system for some residents.
In hopes to allow more residents to participate, Sayre Christian Village started an Easter Basket fundraiser, where the proceeds will help purchase music therapy equipment.
“You can double your impact with your donation. So for $10, you will be gifting an Easter basket, with candy, a card and a sweet little stuffed animal and the resident will get that and be surprised by the Easter Bunny,” Hinchman said.
Hinchman is asking the community for their support, urging Kentuckians to purchase one of the Easter baskets for a resident to help expand their music therapy program.
“It's amazing for them. They've really gone through such a difficult year," Hinchman said. "Visitor restrictions just got loosened up on Monday, and this place has been abuzz with visitors but it's been a tough year and so to see them get surprised and just know that someone is out there thinking of them, loving them, praying for them. It's amazing to see it."
Editor's note: A previous version of this story identified residents receiving music therapy as those living in an assisted liviing facility. The residents are actually receiving long term care. In addition Sayre Christian Village was incorrectly identified as Sayre Christian Church.