Westlake resident Elsie Albrightson takes the stage in heartwarming fashion

Elsie Albrightson is escorted to the stage by Matt Merrell, building services coordinator.

At 16, Elsie Albrightson would sneak out of her Staten Island, New York, home and sing in New York City clubs. Eighty years later, Elsie can still bring down the house! 

“An Afternoon with Elsie” was part of a HCR ManorCare Heart’s Desire program that Arden Courts Memory Care Community in Westlake sponsors on a couple of times a year for their residents. The program is designed to enrich the lives of residents, encourage them to take advantage of all that life has to offer and continue their active participation in the community. 

When employee Catherine Murray, who has worked as a care partner for eight years, was asked by a corporate liaison to think of a Heart’s Desire for one of her residents, the choice was an easy one. “Elsie is the one I choose, she loves to sing and has a voice of an angel,” Murray said. 

Elsie, a former Bay Village resident, was all smiles as she started the afternoon off by being escorted to her stage by the Arden Courts building services coordinator. She took to the stage like she did so many years ago and there was not a dry eye in the house. 

Zoe Harper, a Clague Playhouse entertainer, joined Elsie with a few songs as well as interjected tidbits of background information on some of the musical pieces. Lisa Berghaus, who entertains at Arden Courts monthly, accompanied the singers on the piano and shared her memories of Elsie singing in her church choir. 

Elsie’s two daughters, K’Louise Cook of Medina and Christine Cully of Philadelphia, also shared in her special day. K’Louise and Elsie sang a favorite bedtime song “Chocolate Choo Choo” and Christine shared stories of Elsie’s life in New York. 

“People with memory loss may not remember current events, but are often able to remember the past," said Regina Rock, Executive Director. "Music is a perfect way to bridge the gap as residents are more easily able to remember the lyrics of songs from their past.”

Lisa Anthony

Marketing Director of Arden Courts Memory Care Community in Westlake

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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 11:02 AM, 02.07.2012