There are days when reading the paper is down right depressing. Stories of elder abuse, rising health care costs and retirement woes dominate the headlines. But today was different. Two stories caught my attention and brightened my day and I hope they do the same for you!

Tuning into Music Therapy

Members of the Adult Day Support Program at Bethany Cochrane in Calgary, Canada are all recording artists. There debut album featured a selection of standards such as Amazing Grace and Springtime in the Rockies, with a few members even taking on solos. This is a fantastic example of how a creative project helps elderly maintain skills which help them stay independent longer. At Bethany Cochrane music is not the only activity residents engage in. There are debate sessions, hobby and games times and wellness clinics. This community is bubbling with examples of positive engagement between residents, staff and the community.

Manchester opens outdoor playground for elderly
The city of Manchester, England has opened a playground for the elderly. Town residents who lived in state housing lobbied the government for an outdoor recreation area after learning of a similar programme in Germany! So far over sixty elderly have tried out the new equipment and the response is very positive. The space also lends itself to intergenerational interaction because it was build next to a children’s play area. What a unique and enjoyable experience for the town’s elderly.