Through The Intercom, Nursing Home Employee Sings To Residents

 1506489565 
1597318127
Perry County Nursing Home

Ashley Moore sings gospel songs over the intercom at Perry County Nursing Home.

For as long as she can remember, Ashley Moore has loved to sing.

“Singing is just, it’s in my blood,” Moore said. “I’ve been doing it all my life.”

A licensed practical nurse, Moore works at Perry County Nursing Home in Marion, Alabama. When she first started the job about three years ago, she would occasionally hum a tune while walking the halls. A few residents started to notice, and they loved it.

“From then on, I sang, because … you know they’re living in a nursing home, this is where they’re going to be,” Moore said. “I don’t exactly know how they’re feeling at the moment. But if I can do anything to brighten their day, I will.”

Moore started singing during activities and church services, and she would even meet one-on-one with residents to sing their favorite songs.

But earlier this year, that kind of thing became more difficult.

The coronavirus has spread through most nursing homes in Alabama, including Perry County. Since March, people have not been able to visit in person and there have not been as many group activities, including group singing.

It has been a difficult time, according to 75-year old Fannie Bates, a Perry County Nursing Home resident.

“These past few months have been, I don’t know, it’s very lonesome,” Bates said. “Cause most people used to see their family, you know getting together and everything.”

Ashley Moore said it’s also been stressful for staff. With the restrictions and health risks, she said employees can’t interact with residents like they used to, and at the same time, residents are more confused and isolated.

“We were just trying to figure out ways to continue to try to keep some kind of normalcy in there,” Moore said.

Sharon Phillips, the administrator at Perry County Nursing Home, said one idea was to use the loudspeaker to deliver inspiring messages. But they needed a volunteer.

“Ashley said ‘I will,’ and she got on the pager and said a prayer and then started singing on her own,” Phillips said.

In the middle of the hallway, in her purple scrubs, Moore belted gospel hymns throughout the facility. Moore said she’s sung a lot over the years, but this time, it was different.

“The reaction was nothing like I thought it would be,” she said. “Everybody hears me sing. I didn’t know that those words to that song meant so much to them. People were even crying.”

Fannie Bates was among them. Bates, who is one of Moore’s biggest fans, said every song is spiritual and that comes through in Moore’s voice.

“She (Moore) does a great job with singing and a great meaning to it,” Bates said, “and I just love something like that.”

Bates also loves to sing, and she said it makes her feel better, even when she’s lonely.

More Coronavirus Coverage

‘Be Like Pearl’: A Woman So Admired She Inspired New Year’s Resolutions Was Felled By COVID-19

Pearl Slay is one of more than 2,300 Alabamians who have died from COVID-19.

Birmingham City Council Seeks Halt To Closing Of Recreation Centers

A proposal to close 12 of Birmingham's recreation centers is facing pushback by city council members.

Woodfin’s Constantly Changing Budget Leaves Library Board, City Council to Wonder: “What the Heck Is Going On?”

A proposed budget for the city of Birmingham wants to cut funding to the Birmingham Public Library for the third time.

Poets Reflect On Six Months Of Pandemic

Several Alabama poets share their experiences and works inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.

Alabama’s Nursing Shortage Worsens During Pandemic

In the fight against COVID-19, Alabama hospitals say one of their biggest concerns is a shortage of nurses. Many are turning to travel nurse companies to meet demand.

Number Of COVID-19 Patients In Alabama Hospitals Falls To Less Than Half Its Peak

The number of people hospitalized in Alabama for COVID-19 has dropped to less than half the peak figure of more than a month ago.

More Coronavirus Coverage