1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Big improvement in memory

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by CynthsDaugh, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. CynthsDaugh

    CynthsDaugh Registered User

    May 5, 2015
    140
    Salford, Lancashire
    Hi,

    My Mum (82 with mixed Alzheimer's and vascular dementia) has had quite a big improvement in her longer term memory in the last couple of days.

    She's had 2 'silent' heart attacks recently and both times her dementia has got a bit worse afterwards.

    However-

    Realised there was an improvement yesterday when we were at a carol concert at the Bridgewater Hall. The audience joined in with a few carols, and the words were printed in the programme. Got to Good King Wenceslas and held the programme out for Mum. Cue an offended look and 'I don't need that!' followed by singing along word for word for 5 verses! There is no way she could have done that even last week.

    Today I thought I'd really better get Christmas cards in the post, including to all Mums cousins who she hasn't had a clue about for over 2 years. Shall we send a card to C? 'My cousin oh yes we must do that!' How about S? What about R? and so on. She remembered them all. She didn't remember all their spouses but a couple of them.

    It just seems so dramatic an improvement, has anyone else experienced this? Not counting on it lasting but just don't know what to think.

    Thanks

    Sally
     
  2. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,410
    Female
    England
    There is something really special about singing. A couple of months ago a lady sat by me at our monthly Al's cafe meeting and she really struggled to speak to me in fact it was horrendous the effort she put in for next to no return for her efforts.

    We then had entertainment which included a sing along to 70/80 music. She sang along as well as I did, in fact better because I have no singing voice so mime a lot.

    After the sing along I asked her if she enjoyed it and she spoke to me as if she had no problem at all, the words just flowed. You can never underestimate the power of music. Her husband was going to compile a disc for her to play at home, he had not heard her say so much, so easily as she was after the singing for more than a year.
     
  3. Peirre

    Peirre Registered User

    Aug 26, 2015
    160
    I have actually witnessed one gent who had to be assisted by 2 carers to enter the building and take his seat, yet when a certain song was played he sprung up and danced & jumped around, but when the music stopped he returned to the same state as when he walked on to he room.
    The "lost chord" http://www.lost-chord.org.uk/ organise singers and entertainment for those with memory impairment. They frequently have singers attend various CH, and our local memory cafe and singing for the brain sessions in the area.
     
  4. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,721
    Male
    Bristol
    It's one of those lovely wee moments in caring for my partner. She has been getting worse this year, but still remembers stille nacht. My friend said recently her mum always remembered old hymns, but little else as she got worse with Dementia. All the best to you and your mum Sally.
     
  5. Angie1996

    Angie1996 Registered User

    May 15, 2016
    515
    Somerset
    I got days my dad was really sharp and I used to find it weird???? Same as others I found music sparks him up so well, pulls memories back up, it's incredible what music does, music is linked to emotion, which is apparently the last stage of the disease to go....


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  6. CynthsDaugh

    CynthsDaugh Registered User

    May 5, 2015
    140
    Salford, Lancashire
    Thanks for all the replies. The improvement lasted until last night, it was great to see her more her old self.

    I've had a google and can't find any singing sessions outside of work hours I could take her to unfortunately. Will have to see if I can get a CD of something appropriate, and maybe a chat with the manager at the care home she goes to day care at.

    Sally
     
  7. Princess t

    Princess t Registered User

    Mar 15, 2016
    184
    Yes..same thing with my mom...really bad week, then my daughter was singing Christmas songs, mom joined in. We couldn't believe it! We have bad days and weeks then it all seems to improve and we have the normal mom, it's so strange, but it never lasts. It's nice to see though.
     
  8. Peirre

    Peirre Registered User

    Aug 26, 2015
    160
    If your able to why not compile a few CD's of her favourite songs, or songs of the era she was a teen or young adult
     
  9. BlueMouse

    BlueMouse Registered User

    Dec 21, 2016
    1
    I might do some music for my mum.

    My mum is a home bird and doesnt like to go far, she will take her little dog for a stroll twice a day everyday which she has done for years, dad goes with her now though just in case.

    Mum remembers all our names in the family too but last year she wrote her christmas cards and wrote Love from Me and Dad or Me and G (my dad) rather than mum and dad or her name and my dads name. This year she hasnt done this but I am finding that she cant link names written on envelopes to faces like she has tried to give me my sisters card twice when I say "I have had mine mum thats for M" she remembers then.
     
  10. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,918
    Suffolk
    Hi,
    I wouldn't say emotion is the last thing to go, OH lost his very early on! Hearing is generally thought of as the last sense to go. My step dau and I were sitting with him a few hours before his death, talking over the happy times. He heard and responded with his lip curl ( like Elvis, for those of you old enough!) which meant he not only heard but understood. This a few hours before he died. He couldn't talk at that stage.

    A couple of years ago I recorded one of the John Wilson prom concerts and didn't get round to watching it until a few days after Christmas. OH was enraptured, he thought it was the best Christmas present ever! Ironic, that, it was for me! However, I played him other music of the JW type over the next few days and he enjoyed it every time!
     

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