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Music and Crying

Reds

Registered User
Sep 5, 2011
597
0
Hertfordshire
My husband has Alzheimer's.

Every time I put music on, any kind, he starts crying and can be a few times.

Sometimes I don't put it on for this reason. I know how important music is re Alzheimer's and want him to enjoy it. He cries because of the loss of his parents many years ago. I know music can set people off so I am sympathetic but can tell visually how awful he is feeling so not sure its good for him but he does like music. He has done this for years but this problem has got worse.

I don't know what to do for the best other than tell the doctor.

Any help appreciated,

Reds
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
73,100
0
Kent
Hello @Reds

My husband also became emotional with music. It didn`t happen all the time but did happen regularly.

He was less emotional when there were no lyrics or lyrics in a foreign language but I had to be ready to turn it off if necessary.

I remember even in the later stages of his dementia listening to a CD by Nana Mouskouri, who was one of his favourites. The number Everybody Hurts came on and he asked me to turn it off saying it was too emotional.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
73,100
0
Kent
Obvious question but have you tried some rousing happy cheerful music?

Sometimes happy clappy music could be considered inappropriate when someone is fearful and very unhappy, especially if that is not the genre of their choice.
 

Reds

Registered User
Sep 5, 2011
597
0
Hertfordshire
Thank you. Will try some happy jolly music then. Was trying to play 'no words' as thought that might make it worse.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
64,377
0
69
Dundee
My husband used to get very emotional whilst listening to music. Depending on the music he would cry or laugh. I ended up making him a playlist specific to his needs - the music was chosen to try to stimulate memories but his dementia was quite advanced and it was emotions which were stimulated. I was advised to get a splitter for the headphones he used so that we could both listen to the music at the same time. I found that really good - it helped us connect. I feel if I had found this approach earlier in his dementia it would have stimulated communication between us. I used the advice on making a playlist from this website -


He also had a few twiddlemuffs -



....and a house of locks -

 

Reds

Registered User
Sep 5, 2011
597
0
Hertfordshire
Hello Izzy

Hope you ok. Thank you for that.

He looks so sad when he keeps crying. Wondering whether not to put music on but seems a shame especially at the moment when we are at home all the time.

Reds
 

Reds

Registered User
Sep 5, 2011
597
0
Hertfordshire
I wish my husband would like twiddlemuffs or something but he just isn't interested in anything that he is not used to, pity.

Reds
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
739
0
Sometimes happy clappy music could be considered inappropriate when someone is fearful and very unhappy, especially if that is not the genre of their choice.
There's only one way to find out, isn't there? By the way the use of the word "inappropriate" is inappropriate. What is or is not appropriate is a matter of opinion so whenever the word is used it needs to be made clear whose opinion is to define appropriateness!!!
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
4,060
0
Essex
There's only one way to find out, isn't there? By the way the use of the word "inappropriate" is inappropriate. What is or is not appropriate is a matter of opinion so whenever the word is used it needs to be made clear whose opinion is to define appropriateness!!!
Yes Sir!!!

MaNaAk
 

father ted

Registered User
Aug 16, 2010
724
0
London
This is an interesting thread!

You say your husband has been like this for years. Do you mean prior to his Alzheimer’s diagnosis?
Music can, in most people, move them to have a real visceral reaction. We often listen to certain pieces to make us feel 20 again, remember a past love, or a milestone in our lives. It is more distressing for you to watch your husband cry probably than it is for him to have that response, it shows he can connect with it.

However as others have suggested play different things and gauge the response.
 

Reds

Registered User
Sep 5, 2011
597
0
Hertfordshire
Thank you for the replies.

Yes has cried fairly regularly to music since his parents died several years ago but this year its been much worse.

I have decided to not put music on for now as think too painful for him so I have been putting wildlife programs on instead or something interesting, he still gets a little bit emotional now and again but not as much! Have learnt to do 'what works' rather than thinking he should listen to music with Alzheimer's.

Reds
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,374
0
High Peak
Thank you for the replies.

Yes has cried fairly regularly to music since his parents died several years ago but this year its been much worse.

I have decided to not put music on for now as think too painful for him so I have been putting wildlife programs on instead or something interesting, he still gets a little bit emotional now and again but not as much! Have learnt to do 'what works' rather than thinking he should listen to music with Alzheimer's.

Reds
I think 'do what works' should be the first bit of advice for anyone caring for a PWD.

My mother, who has murmured repetitive snippings of songs all her life, continued to do so well into dementia. Advertising jingles slipped into her repertoire in the early stages (which drove me bananas!) However, if I attempted to play her some music or turn on her TV I always got an angry, 'Turn that racket off!'

One of my last memories of her is hearing her tunelessly 'singing' 'It's my party...' and not being able to get any further :(