New program drumming up excitement at West Lake Terrace

Ruth Dwight is seen here leading a drum circle at West Lake Terrace.

Biweekly drum circle engaging residents of all abilities

A biweekly drum circle program that was launched at West Lake Terrace in May continues to snowball in popularity with the Prince Edward County long-term care home’s residents, says life enrichment co-ordinator Janie Denard.

Residents look forward to the drum circle, which is held every second Thursday in the activity room, Janie adds.

The program is led by Ruth Dwight, a local musician “who brings great enthusiasm to the group,” Janie says.

One of the greatest assets of the program is that it engages residents of all cognitive and physical abilities and meets their needs, she adds.

As part of the program, residents have a chance to experiment with a variety of percussion instruments, from hand-held drums to bongos.

The program has been made possible through a joint effort between the Prince Edward County Public Library and a group of long-term care and retirement homes in the area. The homes have collaborated to help the library secure funding through the New Horizons for Seniors Program to purchase the equipment and hire a music teacher.

New Horizons is a Government of Canada initiative that funds community-based projects for seniors.

Janie says one resident recently explained the value of the program.

“One of the residents described it perfectly: ‘the rhythm of the drumming takes my mind off of things and it’s relaxing (and) makes me feel good.’ ”

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