Worlds collide at Chartwell Long Term Care Residence in Elmira Thursday morning as babies, parents and residents participate in their weekly ‘Music with Babies’ meet-up.
Every Thursday morning at 11a.m., staff with the Giggle Lab, a company that facilitates baby-and-me music events, hosts a music class for parents, children aged from infants to two-years-old at the retirement residence.
Chartwell staff invite parents and their children, aged from infant to two-year-olds, to come participate in the free class. The group is now in its second month.
Charity-Mae Catry is a program support services manager with Chartwell. She says the Giggle Lab was looking for space to hold their program, and fit with the programming she was aiming to bring into the residence.
The class is an hour long, and includes props. An instructor leads. Parents and children participate, and the seniors form a circle on the outside. After the class, parents can facilitate interactions between the children and seniors at their discretion, said Catry.
“It’s music-based. They have all these different props and stuff – it’s based on the floor, and it’s kind of like a circle with many layers. The most inner circle is the babies. And then outside of that is the parents. The instructors are walking around through all this. And then the outer layer is our residents. Our residents get props, the babies get props, the moms get props, and they’re all kind of [following] along with the instructor.”
Anyone interested in joining the class can contact Catry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’m actually excited to see where this program goes. It’s a young program. And I think just because their babies are so young, let’s see how it migrates and more feedback from our residents,” said Penny Silva, the administrator and general manager at the Chartwell Long term Care Residence in Elmira.
“We are always looking for new ways to bring some quality and excitement and value back to our residents and to our home.”
Catry and Silva hope that the program can be beneficial for both the residents and for the community.
“Living in Canada right now is tight, and it’s hard. So with the fact that we can offer this for free is incredible,” said Catry of the financial stresses many face.
Both Silva and Catry feel this is a big step toward the residents’ healing after going through the isolation of the pandemic.
“It’s very therapeutic t to have this group come in and see babies again, and just have everything feel normal,” said Catry.
“This is a huge piece [showing] that the community is actually healing and is trusting and is coming to our home. It just feels like we have finally come full circle, and it’s so nice,” said Silva.