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Whitsunday Lions Club
Music Therapy for the Enjoyment of Dementia Patients in the Proserpine Nursing Home.
Traditionally, the management of chronically confused and agitated patients included chemical and physical restraints. However in 1992 Linda Gerdner was one of the first doctors to systematically investigate the use of individualized music as an intervention for agitation in persons with dementia.
It is thought that carefully selected music, based on personal preference, will provide an opportunity to stimulate their remote memory. This changes the focus of attention away from the immediate environment which may be meaningless to them, or just plain confusing. Initiating memories associated with positive feelings of happiness or love will have a soothing effect on the person with dementia, which in turn will prevent or alleviate their agitation.
At first we gave the mp3 players and the headphone directly to our new client, but we have since found that it is better to give the equipment to the staff of the Nursing Home, with the client’s name clearly marked on the player and headphones. This way the equipment is less likely to get lost or stolen and also it is then easier for the night staff to recharge the machines every night so that they are always ready.
We have also come to the conclusion that a staff member who is familiar to our client, or a family member, is vital to do the initial fitting as it makes the client more comfortable. Even though you may have met with them before, they won’t always remember you and their stress levels will rise.
Initially there were 4 of us who used to go to the Nursing Home but we have now realized that two people are better and visiting by yourself is way too daunting. We also leave time afterwards to go and have a coffee and debrief. It can be quite disconcerting and personally challenging, but if we are able to help, even just a little, it is worth a little discomfort to us.
Our Journey with our new Friends
One of our first clients was Lady L. The co-ordinator was anxious that she be seen early as Lady L was losing the ability and will to communicate. She was fitted with her headphones and almost immediately started to airplay the piano.
In a small voice she told us that her mother had played this song on the organ at church. She told us how many brothers she had and how she had lived on a farm, milked the cows and ridden a horse to school, all the while, with a big grin on her face. We were all visibly moved by this reaction as none of us had known what to expect.
Six months later, she is still enjoying her music and most days she is wearing her headphones until the mp3 goes flat. A little smile plays around the corners of her mouth, as she is obviously enjoying her memories and the music.
Lady D was our next success story.
From the start Lady D has enjoyed her time ‘in the headphones’. She was so happy the first time that she tried to get up to have a little dance. Luckily we were quick to support her as she had been
transported to a time when she was light and agile on her feet, not elderly and worn out as she is now.
Stress and Agitation
We have been taking videos of our clients and it was only when we played them back that we realized just how much background noise there is in the nursing home. People calling out, vacuums roaring, telephones ringing, residents crying out and all the other noises that we are able to recognize and then shut out. However a dementia patient has forgotten what most of those noises relate to and it is now accepted that this background noise is part of their agitation and stress. This is just unrelated noise for them but when the headphones are on, these noises are partially blocked out allowing the music to take over.
Last week when we arrived one of our client’s was quite upset because she couldn’t fold her nightie. I sat down to help her, but apparently I wasn’t doing it to her satisfaction and she was becoming quite incoherent and stressed. We had the music player with us and so we put the head phones on her head. Immediately she became a different person, smiling and really seeing us for the first time.
Next we found her exercise balls and spent the next 15 minutes giggling and throwing the ball. She wasn’t actively listening to the music but it was blocking out all the extraneous noises around her, allowing her to focus on the balls and having fun.
Sir D is blind and he just stares blankly into space but when we fitted him with his headphones it didn’t take long for him to move his feet in time to the music.
Imagination is Key
Our next client, Lady S, is a real character with an amazing imagination. On my first visit she told us that she had just visited her family in Tasmania and next week she was off to New Zealand to help her niece who had just had a baby. She certainly made it sound quite plausible, especially to a new chum like me. In fact, we really enjoy visiting her as she always has some amazing adventure to relay to us, including working closely with the police to catch a ‘bad man who wanted to do bad things with her’.
Miracles do happen!
Since moving to the Nursing Home our next client was constantly prowling the corridors, never sitting still, not even for meal times.
When we had Sir C’s music ready, we literally had to chase him around the room to get him to sit down long enough to put on his headphones.
Then a miracle happened. He sat still for 6 minutes for the first time since he had been there, tapping on the table in time with the music. We were all visibly moved as we noticed a tear running down his cheek and we heard him say ‘I am crying’ with such amazement in his voice.
The staff at the nursing home have really seen a difference and the instances of a full on meltdown have been lessened. When they see that one of our clients is getting stressed or agitated they put the headphones on and in most cases, the person immediately calms right down and the staff are then able to talk gently with them until the crisis has passed.
A good time to ‘hook up’ our clients is during mid afternoon at the time known as Sundowners. This was traditionally a busy time, looking after children, picking them up from school, shopping and getting the dinner ready. Now with none of those chores to do they get fidgety and unhappy, but with their music on they are more relaxed and contented.
We hope that we have piqued your interest and you will take this idea back to your clubs and convince them of the worthiness of this project. It would be fantastic if we could get this program into other nursing homes around the country.
AND Now to the nitty gritty –
To date we have 16 clients set up with their own equipment and we have 10 spare sets. We have spent $1,452.56 so far. We will be able to help 26 dementia patients for approximately $56 each or to put it another way, from the sale of 56 sizzled sausages per person. If we can help improve the life of these dementia patients $56 per person will be money well spent.
Initially we found it very difficult to buy MP3 players but we are now sourcing them overseas via Ebay. We look for the cheapest supplier and we have found RUIZU brand to be the best. It seems to take about 3 weeks to arrive.
The headphones are ordered through Auto Pro.
We downloaded Media Monkey on to our computer as this program converts cd’s to the mp3 format. I believe that you could also use Microsoft media player. If you don’t have access to a large cd collection, you could ask the family to loan you the client’s favourite cd’s to convert to the mp3 format.
TAKE THE STEP
Please approach your local Nursing Home and ascertain whether they would like the music therapy program to begin. If they sound interested, you could then ask them to give you a list of prospective candidates. We have found that it is better if the Nursing Home staff approach the families and ask them to fill out the application form. When the form is returned you can then go about making the appropriate mp3 player.
If the Nursing Home sounds a bit reluctant, I am sure the Proserpine Nursing home Lifestyle Co-ordinator Rachel Stevenson would be happy to talk to them. We are proving that the music therapy really works!
And remember, we are only a phone call away (041 779 3392) if you have any queries or would like a bit more encouragement.
We are happy to send you the forms that we have devised as a starting point. Please feel free to modify them to suit your needs or ask us any questions. We are committed to this project and really want it rolled out across the country. Who know, but for the grace of God, we could be one of these residents and I would like to think that my local Lions Club was prepared to help me.
Townsville Ross Valley Lions
Lions Biggest BBQ - Supporting Childhood Cancer Research Foundation
Wednesday 22 April 2015, Townsville Ross Valley Lions were busy cooking some sausages to help Childhood Cancer Medical Research. Together Townsville Ross Valley Lions raised $809.50!
Lion Winston & Lion Brian cooking up a storm Lions Winston, Brian, Graeme, Rod & Irene Lions Brian, Col, Winston, Graeme, Rod & Irene
Townsville Castle Hill Lions
Hughenden Hay Day 30.08.14
ON the 30th of August 2014 Castle Hill Lions Club and Aussie Helpers hosted an event which brightened to lives of approximately 80 property owners, farming families and property staff living in and around the Hughenden area. This grazing district has been experiencing severe drought for some time now and all of these people are doing it tough.
This was not the first time a Hay Day eventuated through the combined efforts of Aussie Helpers and the Castle Hill Lions Club. In fact it was the third Hay Day that has been hosted, but this event was the biggest joint venture to date. Aussie Helpers, founded by Brian and Nerida Eagan, has been on the ground for 12 years now, providing practical assistance to people on the land. Through personal experience Brian and Nerida are well versed in what is required to get money and goods to where it is most needed, and in the most efficient manner possible.
The footwork preceding the Hay Day is always extensive. Volunteers from Aussie Helpers travel to remote areas deemed to be in need of some assistance. Moving from property to property they talk and listen to families and staff to assess what is most needed. The Aussie Helpers team then decides how they are best able to help and set to work seeking out the much needed supplies. Contributions came from local and regional individuals and companies. ‘Rocky Ponds Produce’ in Gumlu, donated pallet bins of melons, pumpkins and capsicums. The proprietors of Magnetic Island Transport and the proprietors of NQ Freighters, all donated their expertise and use of equipment to get the fodder purchased from donations out to Hughenden from Townsville.
From that point, each farmer is provided with an invitation to attend the Hay Day and a written allocation of what they will be able to collect at that time. This could include bales of fodder, silage, pods of molasses and blocks of mineral supplement for stock. It may also be food and personal goods for family or staff members.
Another important consideration was the Hay Day venue, and the Mayor of Hughenden, Mr. Greg Jones, readily offered the Hughenden Show Grounds facilities for this purpose. The Mayor kindly provided the use of a hall for the pampering part of the day, a canteen area for the preparation, cooking and serving of food and a covered area with seating and tables for the social side of things.
This was when the Hay Day concept really became exciting! On the 30th of August farming families came in to Hughenden Show Grounds for their allocation of hay, silage, molasses mineral supplements and then stayed on for morning tea and a BBQ lunch. Castle Hill Lions Club members (Ladies) baked a considerable quantity of cakes and slices that traveled to Hughenden on the backseat of their cars for the morning tea, and I have to say these were devoured with great enthusiasm.
Out on the show grounds the serious work of handing over donated fodder and goods to farmers took place. In a very organised manner, semi-trailers were unloaded by bobcat and tractor and then reloaded onto farmer’s trucks or 4WDs. The farmers’ line up at the gate with their trucks and allocation sheet and entry is controlled so as to maintain a safe flow of traffic. With the many hundreds of round/square bales and one tonne pods of molasses it takes a lot of the day to get it all loaded onto trucks and ready for moving again.
As well as the essentials for livestock there were also essentials available for people - pamper packs for the ladies, gift packs for men, haircuts, massages and family portraits taken by a professional photographer who burned the photos onto a CD for families to take with them on the day. Art and craft activities and a range of sports equipment kept the children busy and happy.
Most families commented that the Hay Day had been a wonderful opportunity for some much needed social interaction where people were able to step outside of their normal worries regarding the future and what it may bring to just enjoy the moment and each other’s company for a short while. They all were very appreciative of the effort that had gone into making the day possible, and just knowing that other people were thinking of them was a fabulous morale booster.
Farming families are not the only ones to benefit when this sort of event comes to a town. Vouchers for food, diesel fuel and chemist’s goods from the local supermarkets, service stations and other businesses are purchased with money raised by Lions Clubs. Food and drinks for the free BBQ and morning tea are also purchased from local businesses.
None of this could have happened except for the hard work by all the members of the Lions Clubs Australia wide. Donations large and small added up, and the Drought Relief Project was able to get assistance to people who needed it the most. The recent $100,000 grant provided by the Australian Lions Foundation, and administered through Castle Hill Lions Club, was also a big shot in the arm for the planning of the 30th August Hughenden Hay Day.
These sorts of events certainly bring people together and it shows you that the basic human instinct is to support each other. While I am sure Lions will always be there to continue offering assistance to these drought affected communities, we would much prefer the rain to fall in the Western parts of Queensland and NSW.
One grazier who was touched by the assistance of Lions and Aussie Helpers has rung and told us how the spirit of the whole town has lifted in the weeks that have passed since our visit.
Townsville Aitkenvale Business Lions
For the month of September The Aitkenvale Lions Club is hosting, OPERATION:Donate-A-Doll a campaign to raise funds to support The Children's Pre-Admissions Clinic a collaboration between James Cook University and The Townsville Hospital. The Clinic will help children and their loved ones better prepare for their hospital admission, including surgeries.
The Clinic’s main aim is to reduce anxiety for children and their families attending hospital.
Without your help, all the volunteers running this clinic, from the health professionals to the students involved, would not be able to provide this service. There are an estimated 1000 children admitted to the Townsville Hospital each year, this may help.
Please join us in making a difference in the local community by liking our event and Facebook page, sponsoring a child's "Ration Pack", making a donation or simply sharing with a friend to get the word out to help us reach the goal of assisting all these children!
For more information contact the Project Coordinator Don Hamilton M: 0429 664 470 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Airlie Beach Community Markets (Whitsunday Lions Markets Phone: 0409 273 047, Email: email@example.com)
LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! This is what the Lions Club of Whitsunday has for the longest running and best ever Club project.
Situated in idyllic foreshore parkland in the heart of Airlie Beach is the Whitsunday Lions Airlie Beach Community Markets.
It operates every Saturday rain or shine from 7am till 1.30pm.
These markets were first established as a craft entity over 20 years ago and were averaging around 20 stalls in low summer to 50 stalls in the high winter season.
In March 2000, with the dissolution of the Airlie Beach Markets Association imminent, the Whitsunday Lions were approached, and after detailed discussions within the club and negotiations with Whitsunday Shire Council they assumed management of the markets and in July 2000 commenced what has become the Club’s longest running project and most profitable fund raising venture.
We now get up to 100 stalls per week.
The Markets also run in conjunction with the visits of many Cruise Ships. This has become a frequent occurrence in recent years, as the popularity of the Whitsundays as a port of call has increased.
As well as our many regular local stall holders, we also welcome itinerant Marketeers who travel around and use the many Markets as a funding for their travels.
Our live entertainment is also a great attraction, it allows local artists to display their talent, and regularly includes school and community bands , choirs etc.
The continuing success of the Airlie Markets has generated proceeds which have enabled the Whitsunday Lions to partially or fully fund numerous donations and disbursements to local charitable bodies.
Lower Herbert Lions
Opens Stage 1 of Expansion to Retirement Units
On Monday 9th June 2014 Lower Herbert Halifax Lions Club held the official opening of stage one of the planned expansions to the existing Lions Retirement Units in Halifax. In attendance were Hinchinbrook MP Andrew Cripps, Hinchinbrook Mayor Roger Bow, Hinchinbrook Deputy Mayor Pat Lynch, Lions Club District Governor Gary Kenny, Lower Herbert Halifax Lions Club President Allan Hansen, a number of members from Lower Herbert Halifax, Rollingstone and Ingham Lions Clubs as well as the residents of the Lions units. It was a great roll up considering the weather on the day.
The first stage, three two bedroom units, a $600,000.00 project are a welcomed addition to the facilities 18 single units and a great credit to the Lower Herbert Halifax Lions Club who funded the project with the generous support of the community and the local council.
Although no Government money was given towards the cost of the units, the Lower Herbert Halifax Lions Club was successful in obtaining a grant from the Office of Liquor and Gaming for the purchase of a generator which makes the whole unit complex very independent during a natural disaster.
Stage two of the expansion is another two units which building should commence in the New Year.
Demand for both single and double units is high with the need to advertise vacancies very rare.
After the official opening everyone enjoyed afternoon tea with the Lions Ladies putting on a great spread. The weather only eased up for a quick photo opportunity before moving everyone on.
Overall it was a great day to celebrate another achievement by the Lower Herbert Halifax Lions Club.