A Michigan-based musician isn’t letting the coronavirus pandemic stop him from bringing residents joy through his performances.
Singer and songwriter Michael Krieger has continued to perform for Detroit-area long-term care facilities and retirement communities throughout the public health crisis in an effort to connect with residents.
“It takes our minds momentarily off the grief that we are experiencing each day and every [waking] hour,” Michigan resident Tom Gray said. “He has a way about him that cheers a person up.”
Prior to the onset of COVID-19, Krieger would regularly sing and play his guitar five to seven times a day for providers and their residents as a way to connect with them until visitor restrictions were put in place in March.
Now, the connections have to be virtual but it hasn’t silenced his music. Facilities have been using computers, tablets and large screen TVs to connect him with residents. Krieger said it was tough for residents to recognize him at the beginning of the transition, but they’ve now adjusted.
“I just felt like, ‘Oh my God, those are my people. I can’t touch them. I can’t reach them,’ ” Krieger said.
Krieger, who started performing for long-term care facilities 20 years ago, said now residents are asking him when he’s coming back to see them in-person.
“I don’t know. Soon, I hope,” Krieger said he typically replies. “I miss being with you, too.”
It’s sure to be a “command” performance whenever he does get to start in person again.