I believe that each person has a song in their heart. I believe that music is universal and culturally acceptable to a diverse population.
As a social worker, working with the older adult population, I try to use the strengths perspective when working with my clients. I believe musical talent or the love of music or humming a tune brings out the best in all of us.
I recently had a client, “Mrs. M” who appeared to be depressed, upon observing her during a home visit. She lives with her daughter and is somewhat limited in her mobility, yet more so in her zest for life. As I was assessing this client I made a few suggestions to uplift her, because as a social worker I try to give my clients at least one other referral that will benefit them, for another service or for an activity.
I called Mrs. “M” a few days later to ask a question and I talked with her daughter, Melba. Melba stated that her mother was sad and feeling unhappy. I asked what some things were that her mother used to do when she lived in her own home. She told me that her mother loves to entertain people by playing the piano. (I did not see her piano, because they had it in her bedroom). A light went off for me and I said oh, I have the perfect place for your mother; she needs to contact her local senior citizen center. They are always looking for someone to play the piano. I quickly looked up the number for her, as I was just as excited as she was. I also suggested that she contact some local nursing homes. Melba was so happy and very thankful for my suggestions.
I don’t know if Mrs. “M” ever contacted these resources, but I had placed a glimmer of hope in her life; a sparkle with a melody attached to it. Often times in the past when I have visited a senior center or nursing home I am asked if I play the piano and I do.
Now, when I visit one, I will have a new song in my heart and I will imagine that Mrs. M is playing somewhere and making beautiful music.
As a social worker providing services to our clients is what we do best. I am blessed and rewarded as much as my clients are when I am able to give them hope, not only physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My reason for visiting Mrs. M that sunny day in March was to assess her need for a ramp to be built on her front porch. This provided her much needed access to the outside world, physically. I believe the other referrals I made enhanced her mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
At least I hope so, because that is what music does for me. It puts a smile on my face and a song in my heart.
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