“What I know for sure is that when you declutter – whether it’s on your home, your head, or your heart – it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life, and your family.”
Decluttering is getting a lot of press these days. From Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying to the TV Show Hoarders. There’s a lot of talk about letting go and creating space.
Over the last year, I’ve been decluttering. Trust me when I say, I’ve released a lot but I’ve got along way to go. This isn’t tossing just to have less stuff. A minimalist life is not the goal. This is getting to the stuff that has meaning to me. It is holding onto what will support me in my current professional and personal life journey.
Let’s explore how this relates to our music sessions with older adults.
Relating to others who have “let go”
A series of losses may have led to admission. People have often let go of a certain amount of their independence.
Moving into a senior living community often means culling down those personal belongings. The space is may be less. A residence may allow only selected items.
As we age, more of those that matter in our lives die. Those losses change to whom we relate.
When we let go of things in our lives, it may help us to relate to the letting go those we serve have experienced. Being able to relate may guide the words and the music we select.
Decluttering and your sessions
At the most basic level the question is are you making things more complicated than they must be?
Consider this a challenge to really look at your session plans.
- Do you really need all theses songs/instruments/manipulatives to reach an end goal? To assist the client in the process?
- Is their space for silence? Are you filling every moment with sound?
- Is the set-up of the space supportive of the therapeutic process? (We’ll explore this more in our next section.)
- Is the space filled with clutter that distracts or supports the client?
There are likely a hundred more questions to ask. Use these as a starting point.
Getting down to what matters
The nuts and bolts of simplicity is getting down to what really matters to the people we serve.
- What kind of environment is needed physically and for the senses?
- If the physical and the senses need is in conflict, which is top priority?
For me, a cozy, homey, friendly space is what I work to create. This extends to how I situate a group, the music I use and how I present the instruments.
About a year ago I read several articles and a book about Hygge. This is a Danish term of finding pleasure in relationships and in the simple things of life.
For awhile, I had played with sharing this idea. An Eldersong article on 30 Days of Hygge inspired me to step out with this post. Here are a few thoughts inspired by the Eldersong post to consider:
- Would serving a beverage at the end of your session be appropriate?
- What scents and tactile items would add comfort to the setting? Build upon the therapeutic intent?
- How about offering a chance for clients/caregivers to relax or unwind?
- Host a Thankful for You session. Offer song/lyric writing opportunities for clients to say thanks. Thank the caregivers for assisting clients in appropriate ways. Thank the clients for attending and participating.
- Share some “cozy” songs. This post has some warm ideas to kickstart your songs.
It is your turn to share in the comments. What are releasing as part of this session decluttering effort?