Nazareth School Students & Residents Nazareth House San Diego CA USA

Music, animals and children are a big part of the recreational menu, said Michele Fox, recreational therapist and activities coordinator at Nazareth House San Diego.

The most important part of her job is to engage residents -- body, mind and spirit.

If you want to watch a resident’s eyes light up, put a baby in his or her arms, she said. For some, it’s a puppy that strikes a happy cord to memories of the past. For others, it’s an old tune -- let the music begin and listen to the residents break out in song.

“I love being a part of this family,” Michele said. “When you walk through the doors you can feel the love and serenity.

So many people come here to visit a parent and then start a program to include others. I don’t know who gets more out of this, the volunteer or the resident."