You hear all the time from medical associations and research teams that exercising your brain daily will benefit your physical and mental health exponentially in the long run. These exercises can include puzzles, games, reading, playing an instrument and other activities. A recent study outlined in a 2014 National Geographic article noted the tie between playing music and cognition, such as increased working memory and ability to take in and adapt new information.
I recently met a resident at one of our communities who is a living testament to that fact. At 91, Louise Trotter is still performing the harp across the country, an instrument she has played for over 80 years. Not only does Louise still perform in concerts, but she still travels and teaches younger generations at harp conventions, in fact she was in New Orleans earlier this year sharing her knowledge with other harpists from across the country.
If you don’t know who Louise is, I encourage you to visit her website (www.louisetrotter.com) to learn more about her. Over the course of her career she has received two lifetime achievement awards, made 14 CDs and published more than 30 musical pieces for the harp. I can’t help but think her commitment to her music and her dedication to sharing it with others through performance and education has contributed to her sharp mind.
I could tell through our phone conversation that she loved sharing her talents with the world. She even said that when she plays it makes her feel like she is in another world—like she was 21-years-old again—every time she played. Don’t we all want that feeling?
Louise is able to live the life she wants to instead of the life she might be limited to, which many seniors must cope with. Her commitment to her music is truly inspiring, and has allowed me to search within myself to make sure I’m doing all I can now for my future self, like creating good habits and forming hobbies that could better my mental and physical state long-term.
I can only hope that I have half as much charisma and personality as Louise does when I reach her age. I am continually amazed by the stories our clients share with us and the opportunity to interview some of the most remarkable and interesting residents. Thanks to Louise’s influence, I’ve examined my own life to think of unique talents I could develop that could serve me long-term.
Right now, I’m looking into taking s calligraphy and hope I am able to develop this skill or other passions that could serve a greater purpose throughout my life. Louise’s life continues to inspire me weeks after our talk, and I hope her story encourages you to find your own passions that could serve a bigger objective in your own life.
You can watch Louise in action at her most recent concert for her fellow residents here: