www.retirementlivingsourcebook.com - Positive Aging SourceBook

Fostering the right solutions & connections

for more than 33 years

Posted by Lauren Knatz author of The Gatekeeper on 01/21/2022

Day to day experiences of an eldercare and hospice musician - Author of The Gatekeeper

Discussion with the Author of The Gatekeeper: A book about the day to day experiences of an eldercare and hospice musician as she harnesses the healing power of music. 

Lauren Knatz is a story teller who has performed acoustic guitar with vocal accompaniment for seniors, hospice patients, and special needs populations for over twenty years.

Questions Answered

  • Any experience with Alzheimer's patients?
  • "(question I submitted yesterday thru email)
  • I have a family member living in a care home. I am not a musician. How can I use the power of music to bring them comfort, and even help with life review and integration?"
  • I am  SLP who works with stroke survivors. I know that singing can also help stroke survivors who have aphasia (a communication disorder) talk better. Have you had any experiences with this population?
  • How do you address cultural issues- connecting with people from different cultures that may respond to songs differently? How might you connect with an indigenous person with dementia, for instance, where you might be unfamiliar with their musical traditions? What is the bridge?
  • How can people get involved in what you’re doing? Do you have a program that people who are interested can plug into? How would one begin?

Chat Transcript

12:05:57     From  Parisa Rose : Hello from British Columbia, Canada, traditional Syilx lands :) So happy to be here! (Very happy that Lauren has the guitar with there!)

12:13:22     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Laurens book can be seen at https://www.amazon.com/Lauren-Knatz/e/B09M14532S

12:16:12     From  Elspeth Greene   to   Hosts and panelists : There is feedback coming through, I think it might be coming from your side Steve.

12:16:32     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook   to   Elspeth Greene and all panelists : thanks just turned my mic off

12:16:47     From  Elspeth Greene   to   Hosts and panelists : thank you ????

12:20:05     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me Official Trailer 1 (2014) - Glen Campbell Documentary HD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC374jwyrkM

12:20:58     From  Val Bigelow : How lovely to play. Music for dying animals!

12:21:35     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : (original) Man In Nursing Home Reacts To Hearing Music From His Era https://youtu.be/fyZQf0p73QM

12:27:21     From  Judith McVerry : Is that documentary available for viewing?

12:27:58     From  Parisa Rose : I love that so much -- music "reminding elders of the richness of their lives"

12:28:55     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Here is the link to Instrumental Peace the documentary we are playing clips from https://vimeo.com/335644244

12:32:54     From  Deb Merriner : Wish we had the benefit of a hospice musician such as you for my mother-in-law.  She also was from a WV coal mining town and her father-in-law died in the 1907 Monongah WV Mining Disaster.  We shared music with her via YouTube music videos on our iPads instead.  She loved singing along with the likes of Loretta Lynn (Coal Miner's Daughter) and it brought her so much joy.  Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful gift.  Deb Merriner, Buckley's for Seniors

12:35:38     From  Parisa Rose : How wonderful if hospice musicians were standard everywhere   :)   <3

12:36:30     From  Mary Alice Baird : You can ask “Alexa” to pull up the lyrics of a familiar song.  They they can sing along while you are playing.  :-)

12:37:41     From  Karen Dotson : On my husband's last day of life, he was at the point of being nonresponsive.  We played a special song between my son and his father.  My husband opened his eyes, said, "get me up." He gave my son one last hug and "I love you."  He laid down again and died a few hours later.  The most beautiful moment ever.

12:38:23     From  Deborah Kovach   to   Hosts and panelists : Any work being done for hospital patients now, using recorded music?

12:39:04     From  Claire Taylor : @ Karen that’s amazing. The power of music!

12:39:15     From  Anastajah Stearns   to   Hosts and panelists : Pied piper!

12:39:25     From  Parisa Rose : Wow, Karen, that is amazing! <3

12:39:46     From  Elspeth Greene   to   Hosts and panelists : Karen that is beautiful.

12:39:57     From  Joe Sperling : So very moving!  Brings tears to the eyes.

12:40:03     From  Elspeth Greene : Karen that is beautiful.

12:41:08     From  Eva Popat : God bless his Nobel soul, there are only few people in this world who knows or are ready before for leaving.

12:43:19     From  Elspeth Greene   to   Hosts and panelists : As the pandemic continues on past the 2 year mark, have you been able to continue your work?  Have you been able to resume in person, have you also done more virtual work in this case?  How has this been for you?

12:43:44     From  Deborah Kovach   to   Hosts and panelists : The hospital staff need it for positivity & stress relief!

12:44:12     From  Claire Taylor : In this pandemic era of isolation for individuals and STRESS for healthcare workers, music can be such a healing modality for all. Your work is so important, Lauren! Love it!

12:45:07     From  gabriele hourticolon : Thank you - wonderful/rewarding mission!! Not a musician, I captured & loop nature-sounds which enhance EOL comfort & reflection ... during my Mom's passing these were waves reminding her of her Baltic childhood. Looking forward to reading your book ...

12:46:03     From  Joe Sperling : I was at a funeral where the song "Over the Rainbow" as sung by Eva Cassidy was played.  Absolutely beautiful and not a dry eye in the entire room.

12:46:06     From  Claire Taylor : @Gabriele the book is amazing.

12:47:29     From  Mary Alice Baird : I play for many funerals, and I always include “Over the Rainbow.”  Someone commented, “i’ve never heard Disney songs played at a funeral!”  (I hope someone plays that song at my funeral.)

12:48:07     From  Claire Taylor : EOL = end of life

12:48:13     From  Elspeth Greene : My grandmother was infamous for “not liking music”.  When she was in hospice though, we played some Harry Belafonte cd’s for her, which seemed to be a throwback to her youth.  It was the only music she would let us play for her.

12:48:33     From  Gabriela Martinez-Fonts   to   Hosts and panelists : Lauren- you are truly a gift. Thank you for sharing your talent and your passion with the world. I am enjoying your book and feel blessed you are sharing your work!

12:49:08     From  Parisa Rose : Lauren's book is a treasure, and I loved all the  songs that accompany each chapter. Made for such an interactive, rich experience. (The e-book has links to the songs.)

12:49:34     From  mary busse : I am thinking of the difference between live and music.  There is a reason why a well-known department store hired a pianist for the stores.

12:50:42     From  Mary Beth Fisher : I hope every hospice, long-term care home, and hospital hire Lauren to teach others to do this work to support and care for our loved ones at their most vulnerable! Thank you Lauren!

12:54:53     From  Karen Dotson : Thanks you Lauren for using your gift in such touching and important ways.  Thank you for all who shared supportive comments in the chat and for sharing your stories.

12:55:27     From  Claire Taylor : Agreed, Val! As editor of the book, I must say I went through a LOT of Kleenex as I worked with Lauren’s beautiful stories.

12:56:09     From  karen webber   to   Hosts and panelists : I am a Jewish cantor and take music into eldercare facilities.

12:56:13     From  Elspeth Greene   to   Hosts and panelists : Another question for Lauren, have you recorded any of your music?  Where can we find and listen to you?

12:56:50     From  Gabriela Martinez-Fonts   to   Hosts and panelists : Val- I agree with you! The music has imagery and emotion and allows for such a connection to honor life.

12:59:36     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Lauren Knatz laurenknatz0@gmail.com

13:01:01     From  Parisa Rose : Thank you, Lauren!! Thank you for the precious work that you do! <3

13:01:18     From  Darci Marie : Thank you

13:01:24     From  Kenneth Reichardt : thank you


Event Calendar

Featured Champions

View Digital Editions


All MD-DC-VA 2023