Thursday, 27 March 2014

Notes to Themselves: Dementia and Music

What a difference a day makes! Isn't that a song?  It most certainly is.  All and sundry, including Dinah Washington, Ben E King and Rod Stewart  have  come up with their own versions.

Anyway, I've found that today will be almost certainly be poles apart from yesterday as I have woken up with sensation  in my poorly leg. That means I can ditch the zimmer frame and use it to dry sheets until I'm able to undertake a small recycling act whe I return it to the hospital.  Already I've been upstairs to rouse Louis  AND made my first cuppa of the day independently. As every occupational therapist like myself knows, that's a firm sign that someone is on the road back to health. 'Yay!' was Lou's first word when he saw me and thrice yay I say!    I'm going to stop harping on about my knee now and blog about other stuff whilst I get better.  Self obsession isn't good for recovery and the minutiae of my rehabilitation progress will bore you lot senseless.  But thanks to everyone who has sent love and kind words.

I see that Ginger dropped by yesterday and that was especially appreciated.  So I thought that I'd do another post for those out there, who like her, look after someone with dementia and know what a powerful medium that music can be in their quest to do the right thing for their loved one.

As part of my job, one of the things that I do is review those on memory enhancing medication by talking to their relatives and see how things are going for them.  'Do you know anything about how you can use music to help people remember things?'  said one of the carers.  'My mum sings a little song now reminding her that she goes to day care on a Wednesday and it's reduced a whole host of repetition and anxiety.   Do you know anything about this?'  I have to confess that I didn't.  There's so much that I don't know about dementia and that's why I'll never get bored working in this field.

With a quick bit of research I found this article by an American neuroscientist, Brandon Ally, that describes a study that he carried out.  Whilst this only had a small number of participants it suggested, indeed, that music could be a tool for learning for the Alzheimer's brain.  I love the idea about making up little ditties to help people remember when to take their tablets!


  1. I was looking forward to reading the article but you link led me to:

    Add Gmail to your Google Account

    Which I don't want to do!

  2. Fixed now Tofeeapple. If ever I need someone to be my editor, you'd definitely be in the running! x