The chaplain at a Winnipeg care home is lifting the spirits of residents to the key of old hymns.
Lisa Enns, Donwood Manor's chaplain, noticed that many of the residents were feeling blue after COVID-19 restrictions were put into place. Church services, chapels, and other programming have been postponed until the end of the pandemic.
"I find my job looks very different than it did just six weeks ago," Enns says.
acilities are no longer able to socialize in the same ways, but the chaplain at Donwood is having fun playing with residents.
"I would think we would really want families to know that residents are feeling the grief of life being so different right now...but they are still content," she says. "People are recognizing that things are still good."
Instead of three chapel services a week and a Sunday service, Enns is still kept busy playing music for residents and finding ways to keep residents distracted from spending their days only watching the news.
Putting her piano skills to use, Enns found a unique way to support residents.
"At the very least, with respect to their faith, I could offer a little bit of music," Enns says about her decision to start playing for residents. She adds that she is glad she took piano lessons when she was younger.
Wheeling the home's keyboards around, Enns has been playing well-known hymns for her residents.
"(Residents) go back to that place of faith where their faith music, the words of their faith, is expressed through song and keep being sung," she says. "I (have seen) in the last month residents becoming weepy."
Enns hears cheers from inside rooms when she arrives to play in hallways and will see people peak outside their doors. Many residents will sit in the hallways and join her in song.
"I feel very good being there," she says.
Playing games such as "Name That Hymn," Enns has found residents are engaging with the music. Enns admits that after a full day behind the keyboard she needs to take a nap when arriving home.
"I have gotten better (at playing the piano) in the past month. It is kind of funny," she says. "Wherever I happen to go, I will grab my songbook and push the piano down the hallway.