Fishermen’s Hospital Is Jumping With Music



(Illustration: Jessie McLaughlin)

If you find yourself at an appointment or visit to Lunenburg’s Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday, you might hear a chorus of ukuleles or twang of a bluegrass group.

That’s because Recreation Therapist Amy Bezeau organizes weekly live concerts for residents of the Veteran’s Unit.

Local talent like the Bluenose Fiddlers, Midlife Crisis and Le Jass Band are some of the groups that volunteer on rotation to provide entertainment to the patients and workers at the hospital.

Janice Rahme runs FUN Ukulele, a group of ukulele enthusiasts who play regularly together and participate in pop-up events at Fishermen’s.

Rahme says she feels she gets more out of it than the audience. “It’s important to share music. It’s important for the community to get together to socialise.”

It helps that the patients are receptive to their performances.

“They are very enthusiastic and they play along. We also bring all kinds of percussion instruments which we offer to play along with us,” says Rahme.

103-year-old long-term care patient Eleda Zwicker has become fond of the weekly musical diversion. She dons a brimmed hat and large sunglasses, both won at bingo, to each concert and sits smiling throughout the entire concerts, no matter the genre.

Bezeau says that music is an important part of recreation for long-term patients. Even those with cognitive decline con- nect with the tunes.

“We’ve had and have a few people that are almost nonverbal… they communicate very little, if at all, and you’ll look over and they’ll be singing the words to the songs like that.”

If you or your friends have musical talent to share with the folks up at Fishermen’s, you can contact Amy Bezeau at amy.bezeau@nshealth.ca.


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