What is your most valuable resource? My answer might surprise you.
Let me tell you a true story.
Years ago I was hired to start a new Events and Activities Department at a huge resort that was going through restructuring. The month before they hired me, the resort had fired 30% of their staff, including the concierge who had always planned events. The staff remaining called it Black Monday. Ugh!
Let’s just say that despite our sunny personalities and friendly demeanor, the three of us in the new department were not immediately popular. We were looked at with suspicion. Some people literally wished we would fail and made no bones about it. It took time and effort, a bowl of chocolate and even a chocolate fountain party to win them over.
To be sure, the chocolate helped a lot.
But what helped the most was our effort to understand what their jobs entailed and how we could help them succeed.
We went out of our way to learn about what other departments did day to day. And we did our best to introduce them to what we did. We invited them to participate in events. We asked their opinions and sought their advice.
When the other staff realized that our success might actually make their jobs easier (especially the sales department), folks started coming around.
We never did win everyone over. But after a time we became part of the team.
The real winners were the guests at the resort.
Happier guests impacted everyone; from housekeeping, to security, to wait staff, to front desk.
Can you relate to this?
Have you ever planned a great activity but had trouble getting the residents gathered up to enjoy it because no one was helping you?
Have you ever struggled to get “buy in” from other staff, or budget from management? Maybe they see your job as just fun and games, while theirs is more serious - translation – harder.
You know that others do hard work and I bet you appreciate them. Hosting a party with a chocolate fountain might be a little over the top. But when was the last time you brought them chocolate or thanked them directly? When was the last time you asked their opinion or invited them to one of your activities?
Your most valuable resource?
The other people you work with.
Working together, the residents you serve will enjoy the full benefit of the power of music.
OK – now that I’ve made that point. Here is a list of other more tangible resources for you to consider.
A good collection of music with a wide variety of genres and styles helps make planning a sing along or individual music experience so much easier. CDs, record albums, digital downloads, songbooks. Check out the Resource list below!
A wireless speaker and your tablet or phone will help you provide high quality audio which makes listening easier for people with hearing loss. Having your music stored on your tablet or phone makes it accessible whenever you need to pull a song out of your back pocket.
A collection of drums and rhythm instruments will provide hands on experiences and allow your residents to express themselves and feel the beat! Remember rhythm is a retained skill for people living with dementia.
A smart TV so you can show YouTube musical videos. Watching Frank Sinatra sing or Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance is really fun and leads to great discussions.
So back to planning.
What resources (including other people) do you need to make your music plan work?
I hope you consider me as one of your resources. I’m here to help. So let me know what you need.