National Assisted Living Week, celebrated Sept. 7-14, was established in 1995 by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) and provides an opportunity for family, friends, residents, volunteers, and healthcare professionals to come together and celebrate residents.
“The Magic of Music” is the theme this year, which will reveal just how important music is in the lives of assisted living residents. According to NCAL’s website, “the transformational effect of music continues as individuals age and can provide joy, comfort, and in some cases, memories long ago experienced.”
Music also brings people together, which is what Hillcrest Health Services hopes to achieve during National Assisted Living Week. For many residents, music holds a special place in their hearts.
When Ramona Buttercase moved into Hillcrest Mable Rose in April, she couldn’t resist playing a few tunes on the baby grand piano in the parlor. It was too inviting. Since then, the requests have been coming in for her to play more. “They tell me they like it – it’s a blessing,” said Mrs. Buttercase, 83.
Music has always been a part of her life. She began playing piano at age eight, and after taking only a few lessons, she diligently taught herself how to play by ear. She was a member of the Glee club in school and used to sing and perform with her brother on the Wayne West show in Lincoln in her early 20s. She went on to play piano for many churches, weddings and funerals for more than 30 years.
She even made space for her beloved upright piano in her apartment at Hillcrest Mable Rose, where she lives with her husband, Lynn, and she plays it often. Her favorite types of music are church hymns and country & western, and she enjoys playing songs such as “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” by Willie Nelson and “Amazing Grace”.