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Looking Back to New Year’s Eve

198. Looking Back to New Year’s Eve

On New Year’s Day I was remembering with my family the New Year’s Eve parties at the nursing home where I worked. I was a music therapist and worked with the recreation staff. On New Year’s Eve a number of us would sign up to throw a New Year’s Eve party for the Health Related Facility. Residents there were more able-bodied than in Skilled Nursing.

They had their dinner at the usual time and then we decorated and got the room ready, which included setting the clocks so that at 9pm it would look as if it were midnight.  At 7pm we started the party. The kitchen provided extra snacks. I played the piano. People came in and we gave them noisemakers and urged them to sing along.

About 8:15 we started cooking it—the music got more energetic. Nurses came in and helped people to dance. All the staff got into the swing of it all and we just about took the roof off. A little before midnight (or 9pm) we upped it another notch and finally we had the countdown—10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1—HAPPY NEW YEAR! Much blowing of horns, singing Auld Lang Syne, going from table to table and wishing everyone a good year. The excitement was palpable. Then gradually residents started to drift back to their rooms. We cleaned up.

What we discovered the next day is that some of the recreation staff left the nursing home and went on to other “real” New Years Eve parties. One staff person reported—”The party was nothing—no energy—nothing happening—people standing around discussing—and I told them: ‘You folks just missed the grooviest party in Rockland County and it was at Ramapo Manor Nursing Center.’”

Happy New Year!

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