Tapping arthritic feet: Extended care patients enjoy volunteer music | SierraSun.com

Tapping arthritic feet: Extended care patients enjoy volunteer music

Katherine Morris

It’s nice to be able to give something back to those who paved the way for us, says local musician Jeff Gordon.

Gordon is one of several local artists who donates his time and talents to entertain the residents of the Extended Care Center (ECC) at Tahoe Forest Hospital.

Last Wednesday evening, Gordon serenaded an appreciative crowd in the ECC dining hall with his soothing vocals and acoustic guitar.

“My grandfather spent the last years of his life in an extended care facility, so it really makes me think of him to be here tonight,” Gordon said.

As Gordon’s two young, smiling daughters brought residents cake and ice cream, Gordon kept the mood upbeat with a mix of an eclectic mix of favorites from the past. Some residents tapped their arthritic feet to the beat, while others sang along.

“I first heard about this program when Janet (an ECC volunteer) called me after reading an article about me in the newspaper,” Gordon said. “She asked if I’d be interested in something like this and I said, ‘Absolutely.’ It’s really a wonderful thing and I hope that other musicians will take the time to get involved.”

According to ECC volunteer Janet Baldridge, the center tries to provide this type of entertainment to residents at least twice a month, yet would like to offer it even more.

“We’ll take anyone and everyone who indicates that they have any kind of talent,” she said. “We’ve found the people in this area to be extremely generous with their time. If people want some kind of meaningful involvement in their community, this is a terrific way to get it.”

Baldridge emphasized what a powerful impact music has on the ECC residents.

“Most of the time, they know all of the words to the songs, like Rita here,” she said taking one of the smiling resident’s hands.

For more information on how to get involved, contact Jean at the ECC Activities Office at 530-582-3253.