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Music Makes the Heart Sing


My dad is 87 years old and living his life with dementia. I have spent almost 2 years now caring for him and trying to 'enrich' his life with activities at the various Senior Centers near our home (we joined 3 of them!). Well, all my best intentions to take him to exercise, lectures, painting, wood shop, bingo and more as a way to enrich his social life, daily life and brain stimulation! It because extremely frustrating for me to spend alot of time researching, reserving, arranging schedules to get him to these activities, only to find he wanted to leave within 5 minutes, looked things over and asked to leave, or refused to leave home at all! My motivation was based on research and personal knowledge - that staying home alone, watching tv and reading the paper (or never getting out of bed) equals a socially disconnected and depressed experience. After getting us both a bit frustrated with my efforts -- I finally was able to step back and think about what HE was feeling. This was not a generally 'social activity' kind of guy. He loved socializing, but he didn't join the bowling team, the choir, the bridge club, ...etc. He loved parties and music.....and always....cookies!! So now I find every music / party I can, and join him whenever I can --and he has a blast, talks to people, gets coffee and cookies, taps his feet and yells "yee-haw!" in appreciation. Now we are aligned and neither of us is frustrated, and I really enjoy the music events too ! Dad has never been happier since I found the 'Jukebox classics' music channel on TV --it plays all day (instead of the depressing/upsetting news). He is tapping his feet and singing along, all day long and is HAPPY! I attached two valuable articles that show how music touches our souls, no matter what might be blocking other brain activities (such as Dementia or Alzheimer's) . Keep the music going and bring joy to us all ! Warmly, RoseAnne



https://www.dementiacarecentral.com/caregiverinfo/music-as-therapy/



https://www.npr.org/2012/04/18/150891711/for-elders-with-dementia-music-sparks-great-awakenings



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