When Village Green resident starts singing, a new program is born

Pictured above, Jeanne Irvine has been volunteering at Village Green for more than 20 years. Jeanne, who plays guitar, recently started a music program at the Greater Napanee long-term care home that’s piqued the interest of several residents.

Volunteer Jeanne Irvine leading new guitar singalong activity, thanks to inspiration from resident

Village Green volunteer Jeanne Irvine was talking with residents recently when one of them began singing. Then another resident began to hum along.

When life enrichment co-ordinator Karen Coulter saw this, it sparked an idea for a program.

“While I was being introduced to one of the residents, the resident I was speaking with started singing a song, and Karen came out and said, why not try bringing your guitar in and start singing?” Jeanne, who has volunteered at the Greater Napanee long-term care home for more than 20 years, tells The OMNIway.

“So, I said I’d give it a try.”

On April 20 she ran the program for the first time for about an hour and it worked well. With Jeanne leading on guitar, a few residents gathered around her and began to sing. They would make requests. If Jeanne knew the song, she would play it.

Jeanne says she is willing to learn new songs if residents ask her to play songs she doesn’t know.

“I am going to continue to try (the program) as long as it’s engaging residents. … I have a feeling that it will work and so I am going to keep trying.”

Karen Coulter, Village Green’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says Jeanne is bringing great value to people living at the home.

“She’s an amazing lady,” Karen says. “She is always willing to help others … and she gives from her heart. She is just priceless.”

She adds: “Jeanne definitely brings to life OMNI’s mission statement – which is ‘bringing hope, purpose and belonging to health care’.”

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