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Assisted living home employee plays the harp to lift spirits

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harp
Courtesy: Sarah Ohr

Altoona (WQOW) - Now that many nursing and assisted living homes across the area are closing their doors to visitors due to COVID-19, it can be a bit gloomy for residents to go without seeing loved ones, which is why one employee has made it her duty to brighten up the days ahead.

Sarah Ohr is an administrative assistant with Grace Lutheran Communities in Altoona, but she's also trained in music therapy and a harpist. So she's using her talents to bring some happier times and relaxation amid everything happening with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whenever Ohr has some free time during the day, she said she pulls out her harp and performs mini-concerts around the facility, playing for a few residents at a time.

Ohr said it's a way to connect with each other during a hard time and can be therapeutic to come together in a unique way.

"What I realized when I first started doing it is that music not only connects us, like you and I, and them and me but also to memories and God and emotions that can't really be felt unless they're felt through music and released through music," said Ohr.

Ohr said listening and playing music can be beneficial to anyone's mood, and it's also a great way to keep busy while trying to stay home and safe.

Mary Pautsch

Mary came to News 18 in July 2019 from Sioux City, Iowa where she graduated from Morningside College with a BA in Spanish after attending Iowa State University for 3 years.

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