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Titles and Objectives of Workshop Topics

Topic One: The Power of Music to Heal
    How music can.....
  1. Combat dehumanization by helping patients feel wanted and needed.
  2. Alleviate fears of institutionalization.
  3. Develop constructive recall.
  4. Provide a stimulant for the withdrawn and comatose.
  5. Build bridges of communication between residents, patients, and staff members.
  6. Provide motivation in physical or occupational therapy.
  7. Minimize and alleviate physical pain.
  8. Reestablish speech patterns for brain injured patients and residents.
  9. Enhance social skills and improve life quality.
  10. Express the feelings of those with special needs.
Topic Two: Music, Laughter and Tears
  1. Explore the three most important elements of music:
    1. Music as entertainment
    2. Music as teacher
    3. Music as therapy
  2. Explore the power of humor in health care.
  3. Discuss the importance of emotional freedom.. the value of tears.
Topic Three: The Scale of Life
  1. What it means to live in a death, age, and pain denying society.
  2. The negative impact of labeling life's experiences "good" or "bad".
  3. Discuss the "Scale of Life's" opposites: birth and death, laughter and tears, health and illness, comfort and pain, youth and old age.
  4. Why the integration of opposites in our lives can give us both understanding and balance.
Topic Four: Angels Among Us
  1. Valuable lessons can be taught by the elderly when we allow them to share with us their life experiences.
  2. Living a contributory life in our older years and how we can discover hidden talents in our residents
  3. The art of respect and communication with residents
  4. Reminders that we never grow old on the inside - only the outside
Topic Five: Bringing Home to Those Who Can't Go Home

"Home is the primary environment in which your sense of identity develops and is reinforced. Home gives you your sense of history, roots, and heritage. Moreover, your home represents your personal history, since you home is a unique expression of you and is as individual as you are. Your home holds and reflects your memories... precious memories of when, where and with whom you grew up, and of your dearest relationships with your family and friends. Thus, when you lose your sense of home, as often happens when one is institutionalized, you can lose a great deal of yourself. As I see it, one of the most important responsibilities of a nursing home is to protect and nurture that sense of home and personal indentity."

  1. How to bring a sense of home to those who can't go home through listing, caring, and compassion.
  2. Bring the wonders of color into the institution.
  3. A Night in a Nursing Home - what we can learn.
  4. Improving the quality of food the residents are served.
  5. The joy of Romance in an institution.
  6. Offering challenging programs that teach residents as well as entertain them.
  7. Bring music into the lives of residents daily, music they remember, music that inspires them.
  8. Help residents reestablish a relationship with the past.
  9. Form a committee that is organized and run by residents, giving opportunities to share their concerns with the staff.
  10. Establish a monthly publication that includes creative contributions.
Topic Six: The Five Principles of Caring
  1. Facing our own fears about aging, illness and death.
  2. Communicationg openly and honestly; what hurts and what helps?
  3. The art of listening with the heart.
  4. The importance of the physical touch and Message Therapy.
  5. Follow-up with families when there is a death in the facility.
Topic Seven: Grieving the Pain and the Promise
  1. Define the grieving process
  2. What is "grief work?"
  3. Overcoming the "Surrogate Suffering Syndrome."
  4. Is it OK to cry?
  5. What is the special language of those who grieve?
  6. Should we include the children?
  7. How do we help a loved one?
  8. The power of creative grief and recovery.
  9. Discovering the "gift of grief."
Topic Eight: How Do I Know When I'm Healing?
  1. People are not healing when
    1. they believe they are the victims.
    2. they become dependent on the therapy.
    3. the title of "griever" becomes their identity.
    4. they resort to regressive behavior.
    5. When they participate in activities, but do not enjoy them.
    6. they live too much in the future or the past.
  2. People are healing when
    1. they can remember ant talk about loved ones without so much emotional pain.
    2. they can experience the full range of human emotions once more.
    3. they begin to reinvest their emotional surpluses.
    4. good days begin to outweight the bad days.
    5. they can begin to carry out the routine of their daily lives in an effective and comfortable manner.
    6. they can learn from their past experiences.
    Signs of Healing are:
    1. DECISIONS without fear.
    2. MEMORIES without pain.
    3. LIVING with energy to spare.
    4. LOVING with smiles to share.
    Topic Nine: Recognizing Losses Faced By the Elderly and How Those Losses Can Be Addresse By the Institution
    1. Loss of independence and the opportunity to make decisions
    2. The loss of privacy and the lack of opportunity to be alone
    3. The loss of love and physical contact
    4. Loss of physical capacity
    5. Deterioration in physical appearance
    6. Loss of respect
    7. Loss of job experiences
    8. Loss of daily association with family and friends
    9. Loss of personal possessions
    10. The loss of favorite foods and an attractive eating environment
    11. The feelings of not being needed anymore
    12. Lack of opportunity to share creative talents
    13. Lack of experienced "end of life" care
    14. Lack of trained grief counselors to help them deal with personal grief issues
    Topic Ten: Care for the Caregiver
    1. Recognizing the difference between "burn-out" and "compassion fatigue."
    2. How to nurture yourself
    3. Give yourself "Moments of Delight."
    4. Relaxation techniques.
    5. Emotional freedom: laughter and tears.
    6. Share feelings with a confidant or counselor.
    7. How to develop a musical first aid kit
    8. Give support to peers and management. Learn to accept it in return.
    9. If you never say no.... what is your yes worth?
    Topic Eleven: Happiness is a Choice
    1. How making happiness a choice can change your personal and professional life
    2. The power of personal authenticity
    3. Avoiding judgements
    4. The art of gratitude: how to want what you have
    5. Celebrating the present
    6. Celebrating yourself
    7. Finding joy in service to others
    Other Topics Include:
    1. Reducing Stress
    2. Suicide: A Nation at Risk
    3. Crisis in the family
    4. Divorce in American society
    5. Crisis intervention
    6. Improving end of life care for terminal patients
    7. Love as affirmation in interpersonal relationships
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