Being able to play a musical instrument is a real gift, but it is even better if you can share that pleasure with another and make music together.
This is exactly what care worker Sarah Kent-Davies from Caremark (Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling) does with one of her clients, Arthur Ellis.
Sarah has had a life-long passion for music and as well as being a wife, mother and care worker, she also finds time to indulge her passion and plays in a local band. She is not limited to one instrument either and is an accomplished trombone and saxophone player.
Arthur, who is 71, lost his sight completely in 2006 after contracting bacterial meningitis. Prior to this, Arthur enjoyed a varied and very successful career in the Art and Printing industry. Since losing his sight he has adapted his artistic technique to create incredible art works. His creativity is not limited to art either but also extends to music and like Sarah, is a keen musician.
Sarah spends twelve hours a week with Arthur and supports him with a variety of household tasks, but she’s also looked at care as more than just supporting her client with a series of jobs – she’s seen how important it is to have a real connection with the person she supports and to encourage them to enjoy their talents and get the most from their day.
Sarah explains: “Caring for Arthur is my job but helping him to feel inspired is a passion. His entire life has been about creativity and it’s important that he never loses that – he’s lost so much already. His artworks, post sight loss, are incredible, so I constantly plan activities for us to do together where he can bring his masterpieces to life.
“Arthur is also a keen musician, like me, so we often sit and play saxophone together. I’ve invited him and his son along to watch me play in a band, and I regularly introduce Arthur to musician friends of mine. Arthur loves jazz music and we share a passion for 60s and 70s tunes, so we spend a lot to time listening to music. He’s a great man, with so much to say.”
Arthur looks forward to his time with Sarah every week and truly appreciates the passion and time she invests in his happiness: “Sarah is a lovely person with whom I immediately got along with. She is incredibly professional but I would also count her as a friend – she always has my best interests at heart. Her support with my art work has been a blessing for me. The musical connection was a pleasant surprise and she has helped me in finding another outlet for my creativity. I feel very fortunate to have someone who is supportive of musical endeavours, along with the variety of other day to day activities we get up to. Quite honestly, I don’t know what I would do without her.”