Odai nursing has become, for a few hours, a place of joy, of dance, of beautiful memories and hope. One evening in May, more than 40 elderly people have enjoyed for several hours, an evening organized especially for them by Let’s Help Association. The ladies received beads which they wore with pride throughout the evening, as when they were young, and the gentlemen wore one bow. They danced and ate – since who knows when! – cookies, cake and ice cream, they shared memories and learned the basic cha cha steps.
The evening started with the ’50s and’ 60s hits. The gentlemen and ladies were seated on some nice little chairs in the room, curious to see what happens and what are we celebrating with pearls and neck bows. ,, We are not celebrating anything. We just gathered here to enjoy the evening” said a volunteer.
The atmosphere, shy at first, was revived by sharing the cookies and the ice cream. Each of those present gladly expected thet Let’s Help volunteers would offer them a glass of juice and some sweets. Later, refreshed by the folk music, began to dance with the volunteers.
Sitting on a stool in the corner of the room, with trembling hands, an old man asked me to help him put his bow tie around the neck. ,, Not good, tighten it a little because it’s too wide! ” said one of his colleagues, around same age and realizing it is probably the first time to put on a bow tie for me. I complied immediately, thinking “Lord, thank you that I not need to make a tie knot because for sure I would not have managed”. The old man thanked me with a warm voice, and then started looking towards the middle of the room timidly, where some of his colleagues began dancing, most likely thinking about the times when he would enjoy the dancefloor also. Now, his feet barely afford him rising for a glass of water. Such as him, many others.
But the music can be felt even from a wheelchair. ,,I came I here to listen to some music, see people enjoying. It’s hard to sit alone in the room all day and this atmosphere makes me feel better” said an old lady in a wheelchair.
,,I received some white pearls, they are beautiful, but don’t you have a bracelet too? ” asked a jolly old lady, proudly showing me, the small pearls received. It is surprising how something so small and seemingly insignificant can bring so much joy into someone’s eyes.
The surprise of the evening was represented by a dance held by Andreea and Marius. The two dancers impressed those present with a beautiful choreography of tango, waltz and cha cha. Then, the bravest of them, helped by Andreea and Marius, learned the cha cha basic step. Some even fared surprisingly well. And how could it be otherwise?! Among the over 40 old people was an 80 years old lady who was part of a traditional fold dancing group for 10 years! Her colleagues had someone to learn from!
In that May evening, the atmosphere in Odai Nursing home was special. Unlike other days, in that evening dozens of people headed to their rooms with a smile and joy easy to read in their eyes. As we shook hands, they said ,,Good evening! “and begged us to come visit again. ,, In 10 years since I am here I’ve never seen anything like this! ” said one of them as he was leaving.