Charlie Barnet, Peggy Lee, Glen Miller, and Frank Sinatra are all 1940's musical artists. Not only are these individuals from an awe-inspiring decade, these musicians are some of my client's favorites. I found this out one Sunday afternoon when I decided to turn on the radio in my client's home. I was cooking lunch and didn't want her to feel lonesome in the living room. What I discovered was an astonishing and marvelous find. She started to bop her feet up and down and hum along with the words on the radio, bringing her back to a place, in her words, "the good ol' days." This non-verbal technique of music lead me to yet another door in which I could bond with my client.
My dear companion was a teenager during the 1940's, and the music reminded her just how wonderful of a life she has lived throughout the years. As the songs kept coming, she then started to conversate with me about them and what she remembered most about life when listening to her favorite musicians. She would get so excited when she heard a song that she really loved; singing aloud and smiling from cheek to cheek.
I could tell using the non-verbal technique of music was just what she needed that day to keep her spirits high. Alzheimer's patients often times get frustrated and irritated with the world. With the music rolling and the memories flowing, listening to melodies of the client's or loved one's choice just might be a charming redirective. Memories from childhood are the special remembrances that do not seem to fade with Alzheimer's. If we can rekindle the consciousness of music, why not bring back a piece of happiness to our loved one's mind?
Do you have a precious elder in your life that goes "ga ga" over music of their day? Who are their favorite artists?