Miniature Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches P...

Image by Aminimanda via Flickr

For the past several weeks I have shared information on the “Sandwich Generation”. Whether people are in a traditional (“those sandwiched between aging parents who need care and/or help and their own children”), club (“those in their 50s or 60s, sandwiched between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren. OR those in their 30s and 40s, with young children, aging parents and grandparents”), or open-faced sandwich (“anyone else involved in eldercare” ), music can support a quality of life for the receiving care and the caregivers. This week’s post in about preparing for the sandwich.

Why should you prepare

Looking at the definitions above, it appears evident many people will spend at least some time as part of a sandwich. Taking time to prepare may decrease some of the stressors at that point in life.

How to prepare musically

Some may be asking “Why prepare musically?” As a person who has worked many years in long-term care and assisted living facilities, I can tell you music is important to people. Having people know your likes/dislikes, important songs, musical experiences can be life altering when health issues may limit or prevent you from sharing them.

For families, it is a part of your history to preserve. It can also add variety, quality, and depth to your interactions with you loved one now and when care may be needed. Such information may make gift giving more personal and appropriate (Recordings, tickets, books on topics are examples.)

Write down or video tape your musical history including:

  • Instruments played.
  • Examples of how you have interacted with music (dances, ensembles, performing).
  • List some of your favorite performers, genres, and songs.
  • Share what music energizes you and what music relaxes you.
  • If there are songs that almost always bring emotions to the surface it is important to share this, too.

What information would you recommend sharing about musical preferences? How do you see this playing in your life? Share your thoughts in the comments below being sure to fill out the CAPTCHA.

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