1. Willow jen

    Willow jen Registered User

    Apr 7, 2014
    Nursery rhymes!

    My mum is 90 and has vascular and Alzheimer's dementia. Mum has lived in a care home for the past year and settled in pretty well. She was never musical but I have found she really responds well to my singing nursery rhymes! She joins in and seems to be able to recall quite a lot of the words. I suppose the repetition and the rhyming is helpful. Anyway, it works, and always makes mum laugh, which she hasn't done for a long time.:)
  2. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    North East Lincs
    I do just the same and even make them up to mirror what is going on at any moment in time. If my psychiatrist popped in when I was in full flow I think he might reconsider the Section that eventually he lifted when I was so depressed a few years ago!
  3. angd

    angd Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    music is a great help with my mum . theres moments when you can see shes very distant & starts trying to remember things but then gets very confused . theres also times when she starts remembering things that have happened in the past that she gets very upset about , we now recognize these moments & instantly hit play on the cd player . 60/70s are her tunes she loves & the mood instantly changes from going to that sad place to what becomes a very happy & dancing place . we generally have a sing & a dance about im shattered within 10 minutes of dancing but mum would go on forever , her trying to teach me to jive has us in stitches & its those moments & times that shes happier that makes me happier x
  4. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    Soup and a Song

    The waiting list for our local Singing for the Brain group is very long, so a church in our village has set up a similar group called Soup and a Song.

    Dementia sufferers and carers have a really good sing-a-long for an hour and then we have lunch together. This is prepared by lovely volunteers from the church.

    We are not involved with the church in any other way but have been made extremely welcome and appreciate their amazing efforts.
  5. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    Playlist for Life

    Thank you for posting the link to Playlist for Life. The YouTube clip in the bottom right hand corner showing Sally Magnusson and Andy Lowndes explaining the importance of personal playlists for people with dementia is well worth watching.

    I found this quote very thought provoking:

    Being able to respond to music – the first sense in the foetus and the last to go at the end of life – is the one thing dementia cannot destroy.
  6. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    I'm glad you found the link useful. What an interesting quote.
  7. jpk

    jpk Registered User

    Jun 10, 2014
    warrington, cheshire

    My wife loves to listen to music. I put it on every day. She can keep in time with the beat. Can remember a few of the words but the rythme is key. Use it at home and in the car.
  8. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    Agree absolutely about rhythm. As soon as music starts, Sue will tap out the rhythm on her knee.
  9. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    We're just back from seeing the 2nd Best Marigold Hotel. I was in fear that Bill would get up and join in the Bollywood dancing at one point!:eek:
  10. RmC17101

    RmC17101 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2012
    That's lovely. I recall my father in the early stages dancing with my mother or his granddaughter. I totally agree with you about dancing and it was wonderful you were able to bring that into your lives.
  11. RmC17101

    RmC17101 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2012
    HA! I hope you both enjoyed the film together. I remember taking Dad to Walk The Line - he was a big Johnny Cash fan - and he sang along with every song in the film. That was in the early days. Initially I was worried we'd get kicked out, then I thought "Sod it, he's enjoying himself".
  12. rhapsody

    rhapsody Registered User

    Aug 14, 2012
    Firle near Lewes
    Inspirational and good for the soul

    I have worked in an E.M.I. home (as night carer) and would like to give some input to this discussion. My evening would start at 8.00pm. Quite often myself and my co-worker would walk in to arguments,anger and all the typical emotions caused by 'sundowning'. I remember one night in particular where neither of us knew where to start . As there were only the two of us on for the night and we had rather a large amount of residents up ,we literally looked at each other ,laughed , and my colleague went straight over to put some music on loudly (we had read each others minds) . We had no option but knew this would have a defusing effect on most of what was happening. We immediately invited certain residents to dance with us(the ones that needed to be seperated) The music was up beat,uplifting and very danceable. Within 5 minutes all had calmed down,some residents were clapping,others joined in and the room was full of smiles and laughter!!! We all had a very enjoyable evening. The difference was amazing. Maybe this was not very professional and we could have so easily been in trouble with management ,but we had to do something quickly and it certainly had the desired effect..........We would do this quite often and it would always be enjoyed enormously by the residents. I and my colleague were both passionate about good care. Sometimes it is the smallest things that make the most impact. I believe that you can get through to even the most difficult cases with patience and understanding. My job was so rewarding in many ways. I sadly have left since and miss those people i cared for. I do feel it is very important for care homes (especially E.M.I. homes) To look into the ratio of carers to residents.We worked so hard. All the appreciation came from the residents not management. So 'yes' !!! music is definately therapeutic....as laughter is also. I hope this helps.
  13. Ginnykk5

    Ginnykk5 Registered User

    Jan 6, 2015
    Hemel Hempstead

    My dad will not listen to music.
    When i have put it on (he used to like classical) he will get up and turn it down a bit. after 3 or 4 times there is no sound but hifi is till on.

    so i turn it off, i think he finds music is just a noise and irritating.

    A great pity, i would love to put music on if it would keep him occupied.
  14. seamble

    seamble Registered User

    Jan 12, 2012
    #54 seamble, Mar 6, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
    music therapy

    Well! You have read a lot about the power of music in Dementia, now! It may be worth adding something about the formal organisation of Music Therapy (MT), which is hugely important for people with many conditions in addition to Alzheimer's Disease (AHD) and the other forms of Dementia. There are formal university courses for musicians wanting to take up MT. There is a British Association for the practitioners. There is a charity, Nordoff Robbins, which supports training and the use of MT in residential dementia units, etc. As I understand it, the training centres on the skill of communicating with people with Dementia, of gaining their attention, as well as on appropriate musical activities. There is an obvious problem of the cost for Homes etc of using well trained musicians. Therapists may encourage and train carers, some of whom become enthusiastic but there is then the problem of time and of institutional resistance to taking on yet another task. My wife now has very advanced AHD but at an earlier stage she (and I) were lucky that her Home employed a very good therapist, who, among other things organised a small group of residents who had been enthusists for music and played instruments. The therapist would make close contact with them and sing speech to them and get livelier attention than was usual. Residents and family would sing together to her guitar and play on simple instruments. And she would sometimes play loved music on a CD player or on her clarinet. The effect of all this was startling. There was much fuller commuication around the group than usual, people who were often inert and in one case often angry were smiling and lively and sometimes lit up with joy at the climactic moment of well loved fine music.

    But often the use of radio, CDs and DVDs is all that is possible. Some quite simple things would help a lot such as timers to turn on radio and TV, particularly for people alone, for suitable programmes, or CD players at suitable times. Might the Alzheimer's Society research and tell people what is available and perhaps encourage the production of easy to use equipment when nothing is available. There are more ambitious possibilities, for instance to do with DVDs of well known musicals. The musical parts of these are commonly very popular with people with Dementia but there are often long passages of narrative, which are not followed. Edited versions, focussing on the songs, would meet a real need. Perhaps the Society could get together with their equivalents in the USA and lobby the copyright holders for the films to produce such selective versions, perhaps one at a time, out of concern for the Dementia community, even if there would be little commercial benefit.

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