According to the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey, there are 16,100 nursing homes in the States with 1.7 million beds. The need is even greater today to minister to senior adults who are often forgotten. Singing at nursing homes is one of the many activities you can do to provide joy, peace, and healing to the residents.
Psalm 96: 2-3 reads, “Sing to the LORD, bless his name; announce his salvation day after day. Tell God's glory among the nations; among all peoples, God's marvelous deeds." As you sing, may you praise God and bless His name to the aging and elderly population.
- Advertise this ministry to your congregation.
- Gather volunteers and decide how often this ministry meets. You may want to plan it around holidays or special occasions (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, etc.) so that nursing home residents do not feel too isolated from their families.
- Schedule a time with the local nursing home administrator. Some nursing homes have a rotation for different ministries to come in.
- Have a set list of songs to sing. You can have one for Christian songs/hymns and another for Oldies for the residents to sing along.
- Print song sheets in large font to pass out to residents.
- Arrive at the facility thirty minutes prior to the singing. Get to know the residents and invite them to join you as you sing.
- Again, take time to talk to the residents after singing. The residents are most likely to enjoy your visit and to share their stories with you. Ask if they have prayer concerns and offer to pray with/for them.
- As you leave, thank the residents and care givers for their time and attention.
- Be a team player. Work alongside the Activity Director and caregivers.
- Expect possible disturbances. Be patient and respectful.
- Choir singing is one of the many activities you can do at nursing homes. For example, you can collaborate with the children’s ministry to have children bring crafts to the residents, show their favorite toys, or pass out song sheets.