My mom is in an assisted living facility 900 miles from my home. She chose to live there because she knows she’s no longer able to survive on her own. However, she hates the place with a passion – at least that’s what she tells my sister and me.
For years, Mom has been generally negative, unhappy, critical and often mean. Moving to assisted living hasn’t made it any better. Like most people, she takes out her frustrations on those closest to her.
Before I visited this summer, I thought about what I could do to lighten the mood and arrived at a brilliant idea. I decided to dance – down the hallway to her apartment, in her apartment and leaving the building with her. Dance makes me feel better, so I thought it might make her feel better too.
When I first arrived at the facility, I turned on my playlist and started dancing right away as I walked through the front door. There weren’t many people around, but those who were met me with a huge smile.
Dancing down the hall, I invited others to dance with me but only one wheelchair bound woman took me up on my offer. She could really move her hands – great sense of rhythm.
My mom started laughing as soon as I danced into her apartment. That set the tone for the entire visit. I danced along side her on our way to the car, danced around staff and around residents. No one joined in, but everyone stopped to watch, laugh and smile.
At the end of the day when I danced my way out of the building, one of the staff members stopped and thanked me. She said I “made her day”. By telling me that, she made mine.
I continued to dance each time I visited Mom and this was the first time we parted on good terms with no altercations.
Dance is good for the body and the soul.
Sometimes you just gotta dance.
May the farce be with you!
Check out this funny video of a young man dancing because he lost a bet, and note how strangers can’t help but join in.