Lynn Ivey’s July Blog about the music of John Leon Lewis
I was blown away when I read the July Blog by Lynn Ivey, the Founder & CEO of The Ivey Wellness Day Center. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my name in the Blog title. She wrote about the impact of my music and how it touches the lives of everyone at The Ivey. Even the Staff. Thank you Lynn and Janet LeClair for your powerful thoughts about the importance that music plays for those who are suffering with memory concerns. Please read below:
Celebrating the Music -- and Lessons -- of John Leon Lewis
by Lynn Ivey
On May 20th, I attended “This One Man” – an uplifting event celebrating the 50th Anniversary of John Leon Lewis as a Minister of Music. The Ivey is so fortunate to count John as a member of our team, bringing the power of music and dance to our members. Our very own Chief Operating Officer, Janet LeClair, also attended the event, where she delivered some beautiful remarks about our John. So enjoy these excerpts from Janet’s message. – Lynn Ivey
“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.”
- Maria Augusta von Trapp
“It’s not often in life that you meet someone who so profoundly impacts you and those around you. John Leon Lewis is one of those people.
At The Ivey we provide daily Life Enriching activities and support for individuals who have some form of dementia, primarily Alzheimer’s, as well as deliver vital support to their families. Three days per week, John brings his musical gifts to The Ivey, and his impact is immeasurable.
Most people don’t associate a Memory Wellness Center with fun, laughter and joy. However, The Ivey is unique, and John plays an integral role making it a special place for our members and their families.
John Lewis’ own mother lived with dementia, and as the disease progressed, his only connection with her was through music. She would wait longingly for his visits, and music was their connector throughout her life. John’s experience with his mother launched his foray into music ministry serving the senior population, specifically those experiencing the devastating effects of dementia.
It is often said that the gift of Alzheimer’s is that it enables you to be present – to treasure the moment, to embrace the experience and to value the human connection. So, in those special moments, how does John make our members feel?
- …by making people feel they are present, alive with every song, every crazy dance move, all uniquely for them.
- …by connecting with people so intently and so authentically – the magical way people light up with familiar tunes…by making everyone feel as if THEY are the only person in the room.
- …for members who have lost their ability to speak, through gentle prompting that enables them to sing like no one is listening and dance like no one is watching.
- …for members who can no longer recognize their spouse or adult children, music that awakens memories closed off years ago and rejuvenates their soul.
- …sensing when someone is having a difficult time – staff or member – and reaching them in a way that others cannot.
- …through warmth, welcoming and engaging ways, reluctant prospective members and their family understand and feel that The Ivey is the right fit for them.”
Thank you, Janet, for articulating lessons for all of us through your tribute to John. At The Ivey, we are constantly learning, and John’s lessons reach broader than just those living with dementia. I hope you find heartwarming lessons here for peace in your loved one’s journey.
John’s closing invitation to all families who are looking for a place of QUALITY CARE:
Are you at a loss for where to turn with your loved one who has memory issues? I highly recommend The Ivey to all Families with aging parents. Memory issues won't go away but the Ivey helps keep some of those "memory doors" propped open a little longer. Please contact The Ivey for a TOUR. You will be amazed at the care they give to their Members and the "peace of mind" and "freedom" you will feel should you decide to use The Ivey's services. I sing and entertain at the Ivey 3 times each week. Set up a visit during the time that I’m entertaining. I'd love to see you.
Contact THE IVEY at 704-909-2070.
Thanks for reading Lynn's Blog, John Lewis