Tag Archives: fun

Music to our ears

Music is an international language.  It is such a powerful tool that brings people together.  Every decade had its best artists.  In this blog I want to concentrate on three decades, and henceforth take you on a nostalgic trip back in time to one of the best artists of the 1940’s.

Count Basie

Music in the 1940s was mainly built around the jazz and big band styles that were popular during the day. Artists like Rosemary Clooney, and Artie Shaw helped to define the musical era with their unique brand of entertaining crowds through their music.   William James “Count” Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local movie theater in his home town of Red Bank, New Jersey. By 16 he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues. In 1924 he went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten‘s band in Kansas City, and played with them until Moten’s death in 1935.

That year Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two “split” tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. Many musicians came to prominence under his direction, including the tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry “Sweets” Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. Basie’s theme songs were “One O’Clock Jump“, developed in 1935 in the early days of his band, and later “April in Paris“.

William Basie was born to Harvey Lee and Lillian Basie in Red Bank, New Jersey.  His father worked as a coachman and caretaker for a wealthy judge. After automobiles replaced horses, his father became a groundskeeper and handyman for several wealthy families in the area.  Both of his parents had some type of musical background. His father played the mellophone, and his mother played the piano; in fact, she gave Basie his first piano lessons. She took in laundry and baked cakes for sale for a living. She paid 25 cents a lesson for piano instruction for him.

Not much of a student in school, Basie dreamed of a traveling life, inspired by touring carnivals which came to town. He finished junior high schoolbut spent much of his time at the Palace Theater in Red Bank, where doing occasional chores gained him free admission to performances. He quickly learned to improvise music appropriate to the acts and the silent movies.

Though a natural at the piano, Basie preferred drums. Discouraged by the obvious talents of Sonny Greer, who also lived in Red Bank and became Duke Ellington‘s drummer in 1919, Basie at age 15 switched to piano exclusively.  Greer and Basie played together in venues until Greer set out on his professional career. By then, Basie was playing with pick-up groups for dances, resorts, and amateur shows, including Harry Richardson’s “Kings of Syncopation”.  When not playing a gig, he hung out at the local pool hall with other musicians, where he picked up on upcoming play dates and gossip. He got some jobs in Asbury Park at the Jersey Shore, and played at the Hong Kong Inn until a better player took his place.

Count Basie’s music is timeless here at Harmony at 154th Street.  Besides providing pre-recorded music from great artists of that time, and other eras; we also provide live musical entertainment.  Many people who attend our center love the live entertainment/sing along aspect of our center.  It is scientifically proven that singing out loud makes you feel emotionally, physically, and mentally better.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this; music is a powerful tool, and we take full advantage of it here in Harmony at 154th Street. Come join us and bring music to our ears!

At Harmony Social Adult Day Care, we believe everyone’s health is important, which is why we have all of our Certified Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides, and staff trained efficiently, so that you or your loved ones are getting the right health professionals providing safe care at our facility. If you or someone you know is having difficulty with activities of daily living due to depression, please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation at 718-585-5440. Or you can visit our website at www.harmonyadultdaycare.com

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Wii want to play

Let me take you back to the late 1940’s and 1950’s for a moment.  This is a beautiful era that even people born in a later era can appreciate.   Modern culture still has a fascination with the fads, crazes and pop sensations from the age when the whole family sat down for dinner every night and a car with fins could get you a date. But there was more to the 1950s than sock hops and drive-ins; some of the trends and social movements that came out of that decade, such as the birth of rock ‘n’ roll and the widespread adoption of TV, continue to shape our lives today. Rock music captivated the younger set, although their elders disapproved. Elvis Presley entered the living room through the Ed Sullivan variety show, which was broadcast in black and white. RCA first broadcast color television in June, 1951, but it was not yet available to the masses. “I Love Lucy,” “Leave It to Beaver,” and “The Twilight Zone” are examples of popular shows at the time. Children celebrated their birthdays with parties at skating rinks. Hula Hoops, Barbie dolls and electric train sets are representative toys of the 1950s. All ages enjoyed dancing and dancing lessons.

Many people took their entire families to drive-in movie theaters. Favorite films of the era included “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant”. Musicals such as “South Pacific” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds” were also hits. James Dean and Marilyn Monroe are iconic stars of the 50s. Children preferred the matinee westerns shown at local theaters starring Gene Autry or Roy Rogers. Much of the fun of the 1950s was family oriented and centered around the children of the post-war baby boom.  The point is people have always had different ways of entertaining themselves. Now in 2015; forms of entertainment have changed.  Although the concept remains the same;  the way to achieve “being entertained” has really changed.  With technological advancements and breakthroughs; people have found new ways to stay active and interactive.  One of those ways is through a video game consul known as the Nintendo Wii. Senior citizens and children can agree that Nintendo Wii is just a whole lot of fun.

Our participants really enjoy playing wii bowling on our wall size big screen.  Along with wii bowling we also have wii golf, wii tennis, and other enjoyable games that make time fly by.  The Nintendo Wii requires you to use your body as the controller for the game.  You’re not just sitting in one spot staring at a screen.  Instead, you are the player in the game.  This not only provides entertainment, but it also provides and promotes better blood circulation, and overall health.  It is really easy to play. Many people are turned off to learning new things because they fear that it will be too difficult, but our staff here at Harmony at 154th street will walk you through the simple process.  We know that once you get the hang of it you’re not going to stop playing.

Harmony at 154th Street has your best health in mind.  If you suffer from stiffness, or from depression let us help.  Our center has provided many people with better living.  We believe that you will enjoy your time here so much that we offer everyone a free one day pass to come and enjoy themselves playing wii, doing arts and crafts, listening to live music, playing pool and other great and interactive activities that will start you off to better health from day one.  Call us today!

At Harmony Social Adult Day Care, we believe everyone’s health is important, which is why we have all of our Certified Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides, and staff trained efficiently, so that you or your loved ones are getting the right health professionals providing safe care at our facility. If you or someone you know is having difficulty with activities of daily living due to poor circulation, please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation at 718-585-5440. Or you can visit our website at www.harmonyadultdaycare.com

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Crochet, Monet, or both

There is no doubt that Harmony at 154th has very talented and creative participants.  We’ve seen all types of handmade creations made by our very own participants.  These creations can be seen on our walls when you come to our center.  Whatever you’re good at doing with your hands we want to see it.  Two of the fan favorites here is crocheting and water painting. Here are a few tips on both types of arts that may help you become a better artisan.

Crochet

  1. 1.       Break for hand and finger stretching: Sometimes you’ll get in the groove and it will be 45 minutes of non-stop crochet. It’s usually paired with a show you may be watching, probably The Steve Wilkos Show or Caso Cerrado! I have found that you need to take quick breaks to stretch your hands and do some finger rolls, otherwise you can get a slight cramp. No fun! I highly suggest you take a mental note to stop for a bit and roll your wrists!
  2. 2.       Watch your posture: As you crochet, you can sit in a sort of recliner chair with your feet propped up. But you may tend to slouch as you get going. Your head is down looking at your work, then up looking at the tv, and your shoulders are now turning into a hunchback! Again, same as #1 and hand stretching, watch for posture and how you’re sitting as you crochet. We don’t need hunchy crocheters out there!!
  3. 3.       Tension matters: Where you position your yarn in your left hand matters. As you pull the yarn through each loop for each stitch with the right hand, you are holding on to the other end with your left hand. It matters how tight or loose you hold that yarn in your left hand and you need to have consistency. Otherwise you’ll get a piece that has 2 rows in the middle that are super tight or super stretched, depending on how tight or loose you were holding the yarn. You’ll start to get into a groove and it will become natural. But just watch for this, it can make your work come out wonky, even if you did the right number of stitches.
  4. 4.       Slow and steady wins the race: Once you get started on a project, you get excited about how it will turn out and start to move too fast. Or perhaps you think you have to get through this project quick because you have 20 other projects you want to complete. You get into a rush. And because of that, you may start to get sloppy, getting into a groove and start going too fast. Try to stick to even, steady stitches, helping with your tension as well, mentioned above.
  5. 5.        Keep a bag or basket by the couch: You should dedicate a crochet basket in your room. You can fill it with current projects, complete with yarn and hooks. You can even place pair of small scissors is in there.  It’s better to keep everything in one spot instead of having everything scattered. The goal is to have it all in one handy spot.
  6. 1.       Watercolors Dry Lighter:  With watercolor paint, a color will always look more intense (stronger and darker) when it is wet. A color will always be lighter and paler when dry.
    It’s something you get a feel for through practice and experience. If your paintings look insipid, make the colors more intense by using more paint and less water, or painting another layer of a color over the first.
  7. 2.       Test a color out first: Watercolor paint dries very fast, so test a color on a scrap of paper or on the edge of your painting before using it. That way you’ll know whether it’s the hue and/or tone you’re after.
  8. 3.       Don’t add too much water:  Avoid inadvertently adding more water to your paint after you’ve washed your brush by dabbing the brush onto a dry cloth before putting it in the paint again. If you’ve loaded a brush with paint and decide you needed less paint, hold clean cloth at ferrule end of the brush hairs to soak up some of the excess. Doing it at this end helps keep the pigment at the tip of the brush.
  9. 4.       Water color paint is transparent: Watercolor paint is transparent. You can see through the layers of color you’ve painted, making it near impossible to hide mistakes. Don’t fight against this, but embrace it and work with it.
  10. 5.       Use a decent watercolor brush: Rather have just one, good brush than a handful of cheap ones that splay out and drop hairs. It’ll save you a lot of frustration. A good brush retains its shape so you can get a very fine brush mark from the point; it holds a good quantity of paint so you need to reload it less often.

Painting

I hope this has been helpful to some of you.  The best tip of them all is “Practice makes perfect.” Come practice with us here at Harmony at 154th we have everything you need here.  All you need is your hands.  Call us today for a free one day pass to our center.  We provide more than just crocheting and water painting.  We also offer other activities and nutritious breakfasts and lunches at no cost to you.

At Harmony Social Adult Day Care, we believe everyone’s health is important, which is why we have all of our Certified Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides, and staff trained efficiently, so that you or your loved ones are getting the right health professionals providing safe care at our facility. If you or someone you know is having difficulty with activities of daily living due to illness, please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation at 718-585-5440. Or you can visit our website at www.harmonyadultdaycare.com

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Say goodbye to doubt

Normally, adult day care is used to relieve the caregiver of his or her duties for the day while ensuring that the care recipient will still receive the proper care in a safe, friendly environment. Our center operates during normal business hours five days a week from 8:30AM-5PM.  Currently, there are more than 4,000 of these programs operating in the United States, but Harmony at 154th is like none other.

Harmony at 154th specializes in providing persons whom have difficulty with activities of daily living with a fun environment of socialization.  Unfortunately, many people with these limitations feel less than useful because of this.  They tend to stay within their homes because they don’t want to be a burden on other people. THEY ARE NOT A BURDEN TO US. We look forward to meeting you and your loved one, and spending time with you both.  Social adult day care serves as a means to preserve and even restore independence. It’s a place where you can meet people with similar situations, and simultaneously do different activities that will just make the day fly by.

Benefits & Services

While adult day care can be a great resource for caregivers, many refuse to consider this option. Some worry that their loved ones will resent participating in such a program, while others feel guilty at the thought of leaving their loved ones in another person’s care. At Harmony at 154th we improve the recipient’s overall behavior and provide the caregiver with much-needed time off.

This is how your loved one can benefit from Harmony at 154th:

  • It allows him or her to stay in his or her community while the caregiver goes to work
  • It gives him or her a break from the caregiver
  • It provides needed social interaction
  • It provides greater structure to his or her daily activities

Harmony at 154th provides a variety of services and activities, including:

  • Assistance with eating, reminders to take medications, toileting, and/or walking
  • Nutritious breakfast and lunch
  • Educational programs or mental stimulation
  • Exercise programs
  • Social activities
  • Transportation services

Our social activities include:

  • Crafts
  • Exercise
  • Field trips
  • Games
  • Gardening
  • Holiday parties
  • Music therapy
  • Relaxation techniques
  • And so much more.

What are you waiting for, join us today!

At Harmony Social Adult Day Care, we believe everyone’s health is important, which is why we have all of our Certified Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides, and staff trained efficiently, so that you or your loved ones are getting the right health professionals providing safe care at our facility. If you or someone you know is having difficulty with activities of daily living due to limitations, please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation at 718-585-5440. Or you can visit our website at www.harmonyadultdaycare.com.