View Full Version : Ukuleles being used in rehabilitation

Uke Republic
02-18-2016, 07:59 AM
A close friend of mind who plays ukulele (seems like most do)wife has been admitted to Shepherds Center here in Atlanta for rehabilitation. She had become paralyzed even unable to breath on her own. I'm pleased to say she is taking a turn for the better.
It is a slow road to recovery but she is speaking and has regained use of her hands and feet and soon its time to start rehabilitation. She has chosen to use her ukulele to help her along. The hospital is thrilled with the idea!
I could imagine many benefits like dexterity and strength building but also improved brain function and something to fight off depression of being in a hospital.
Maybe the ukulele will be used more for rehab in the future?

02-18-2016, 08:23 AM
Absolutely! I also think that all nursing homes/elderly aged care facilities should have ukulele classes for much the same reasons. Manual dexterity, keeping the mind engaged, social connection, relaxation, cheap/accessible and fun. Our little instrument seems to have it all.

02-18-2016, 12:39 PM
My son is at college working on a degree in Music Therapy. The curriculum requires competence at piano, guitar, voice and percussion. But his go-to instrument for leading sing-alongs is my 1960s Werco banjo ukulele. Which is much beloved by all... including the head of his department.

He is coming around to the opinion that ukulele is a perfect instrument for many theraputic uses. Whether the client is playing it or listening to it. Good ergonomics, relatively easy to get started playing, portable, easy to store, non-intimidating. Quiet, too (unless it's a 1960s Werco, which sounds like a machine gun). Senior citizens respond very favorably, and little kids like it.

I fear my chances of ever getting the Werco back are fading fast, but I'm happy it is doing good in the world. And, of course, even happier that my son may someday find gainful employment.

mm stan
02-18-2016, 12:59 PM
Aloha Mike,
Yes physically is a plus as well mentally as its a great distraction from your health issues..it helps pass time when your mind is sulking in depression and anxieties
and gives you hope you accomplished something while enjoying it :)

02-18-2016, 02:03 PM
I honestly think that ukes are the way to go these days. I bet if more cancer patients were willing to take it up, Maybe they wouldn't feel so yucky with chemo and radiation. It might even help keep them on a positive note. I still need to get in touch with some day care centers to see if they would like me to come and entertain the little kiddies.

02-18-2016, 04:32 PM
Yes, it is being done.
Check out: https://theukc.org/ (http://https://theukc.org/)
I am hoping to team up with them at All Children's Hospital nearby and work with the kids.

02-18-2016, 07:50 PM
Nickie, I'm with you, it's amazing to me that this has come up now. A couple of weeks ago the group I belong to, The CC Strummers out of Culver City California Senior Center gave me a big surprise with a thank you card for various help I give, plus $187. I knew I couldn't accept the money so I told them I will donate it to charity. One of the members mentioned the Ukulele Kids Club (Nickie's post) and when I got home, looked it up and knew that was the place to make the donation, such a worthy cause and right up our alley. I evened it out the donation to $200.

Very shortly after, the founder, Corey Bergman, emailed his thanks for the generous donation and asked how I heard of them. I told him the story and asked if they have a hospital in the Los Angeles area. He said they didn't, but would our group like to choose one and the UKC would arrange for us to present the ukes to the hospital and do a performance. We decided on UCLA Mattel Children's Wing. Turns out UCLA is in the process of getting funding for a music therapy program for the children and as soon as it's in place, we can do the presentation and performance.

I made a post on UU not long ago, but this is my opportunity to keep the ball rolling and let more people know about the UKC and the great work they are doing. Please click Nickie's link and get involved.