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Residents produce music video to show appreciation for staff

The coronavirus pandemic might have given the world a bushel of lemons, but the staff and residents at Aberdeen Heights have used their community’s resources to make enough lemonade to share.

Blessed with several talented musicians among our community’s staff and residents, an idea began to grow of how to leverage those skills into something fun and exciting for everyone.

“I saw it on the local news channel a few months ago, when COVID started,” said Susan Press, Independent Living Life Enrichment Director. “It featured an organization called 6FTCloser [Six Feet Closer], and they were gathering videos of people thanking essential workers. I asked about having our residents do this.”

The company collects and produces videos that help support and thank essential workers throughout the country for their efforts during the pandemic.

From there, this project grew to include several residents and staff members in the Aberdeen Heights community. Life Enrichment Director David Evans played guitar, resident Rita Seiler helped on piano, and lead custodial services staff member Antonio Moore offered to play bass guitar and lead the vocals.

“The choir director wanted to do a very melodic style of ‘Stand by Me,’” Antonio said. “They had heard a group of us playing in the multipurpose room, and they happened to pull me out to the curb and asked if I’d help.”

Staff recorded video clips of residents holding up balloons and signs thanking health care workers for the dedication and resilience amidst the challenges of COVID-19.

“It’s been a most difficult time to be away from our families these past four or five months,” Rita said. “It became very lonely, and we’re social people. All the activities we had, the people who came in to entertain us, they are not allowed in. You miss the touch. David did a recording with our help here, and we played and presented the staff with ‘Stand by Me,’ because they have stood by us through all of this.”

Staff recorded various clips throughout the community, featuring a number of residents offering their appreciation for the essential workers who have been so helpful during this trying time. The clips have been sent to 6FTCloser for editing, and the finished product will be shared on the Aberdeen Heights website and Facebook page, as well as throughout the community.

“They can’t wait to see it,” Susan said. “We might do a virtual meeting and put it on that somehow.”

The collaborative effort provided a much-needed distraction and gave everyone a chance to enjoy a little fun in the outdoors — complete with a little singing and dancing. The independent living crew held four practices before handing off the camera to The Glen for their chance to practice and record.

“Everyone had fun with it,” Antonio said. “We had fun with it.”

The video also sparked the idea that this homemade band might be able to provide more light-hearted entertainment in the future. Antonio said his trio is working on a musical set that can be performed in the community, and Susan said she is already thinking about the next way to help engage the talents and creativity of residents and staff.

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