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Hooked On Music - Alzheimers

(12 Posts)
whenim64 Sat 21-Jun-14 09:51:28

My son sent me this from work - he's a psych nurse working with dementia patients. As the one he sent me is directly linked to the research, I got this article from the local paper which links you to the tests and tells you what the research is about. You can contribute to the research by listening to clips of music and responding to the questions. You give a little anonymised information and can save your results which show response times - you can stop playing any time you want. More info in the article.

janerowena Sat 21-Jun-14 09:57:23

Fascinating, I shall advertise it about and do it later.

Ariadne Sat 21-Jun-14 10:18:30

I heard someone speak about the use of music with dementia sufferers - it was poignant and very interesting, and was given by a charity which works specifically in this field. How interesting this is! I shall certainly join in. Thank you, when

janerowena Sat 21-Jun-14 22:28:28

I really enjoyed doing it - it was brilliant! And I picked the 'all records' selection, it was fascinating to see that I knew some quite new ones and had forgotten some of the stuff my parents used to play and I thought I would have known better. Your timing when you hum along has to be good.

granjura Fri 15-Aug-14 12:40:55

My mil was South African and was brought up in Afrikaans language. As fil was British and they came to live in the UK in 1948 (to escape Apartheid)- she only spoke Afrikaans very rarely- mainly with her sister when they got together. As her Alzheimers advanced, she lost her English and reverted to Afrikaans- and she used to swear a lot in Afrikaans to show her frustrations.

We went to Cape Town for a holiday, and we found a music shop and decided to buy a tape of Afrikaans children songs for her. When we got back from hols, she had stopped communicating and was totally withdrawn- possible partly due to drugs given as she was becoming violent. We visited, and she did not even notice our presence. Then we put the tape on, and her reaction was immediate- she sat up and her face and eyes lit up, and she began to sort of sing along. We then asked the staff to put on the tape for her every day- and she so 'enjoyed' those moments with the music. It was too late for her, and she did die not so long after- but it really helped, somehow. My mum was a cellist and pianist and loved classical music- and we knew which she enjoyed most- and we also ensured her favourites were played in her last few months- as it so calmed and soothed her (she had all her head to the end though).

Grannyknot Fri 15-Aug-14 17:52:08

granjura that is interesting. My MIL is Scottish (but lives in South Africa where she has done for the last 40 odd years). She has advanced dementia but when we play the old Scottish songs, she does the same.

You may find this interesting, it's very moving:

granjura Fri 15-Aug-14 18:06:11

Grannyknot- I am in bits- moving indeed.

Nelliemoser Fri 15-Aug-14 18:18:44

I went to singing workshop day where an elderly man had bought along his wife as he could not leave her alone. She had very advanced dementia and seemed to sleep most of the time.

He took her home at lunchtime when a carer took over and it was reported later that she had said to her carer that she had had a lovely day singing. This was a woman who usually said very little.

I am not surprised I think music refreshes parts of the brain other communication just does not reach.

janeainsworth Fri 15-Aug-14 18:18:55

Interesting When, I shall look at the game later.

I've just finished reading Sally Magnusson's book "Where Memories Go" about her mother and Alzheimer's - her mother had always loved singing and towards the end as her mother became increasingly distressed, she responded positively as Granjura writes, to familiar songs and music.

Sally found out as much as she could about dementia and discovered that research was being done in New York about the effects of music on dementia sufferers. At the end of the book, she writes:

"Having observed the effect of familiar music on my mother's mood, awareness, cognition and sense of identity, and inspected the growing body of academic evidence, I decided soon after her death to start a UK charity.
Inspired by Music and Memory in New York, Playlist for Life aspires to make it possible for people diagnosed with dementia to have access to their own personally designed playlist at any time of the day or night...........Since constructing and then delivering a playlist to someone with little memory requires talking, listening, finding out, trying out and observing, it demands personal interaction of a kind much needed by people at every stage of dementia.
The aspiration of the charity is that uniquely meaningful music on a digital device like an iPod will help answer the need for non-pharmaceutical therapeutic interventions in the treatment of all forms of dementia"

Iam64 Fri 15-Aug-14 18:29:52

My mum in law is in the early stages of dementia. Music and photographs always seem to bring her back. Thanks for the link When

tanith Fri 15-Aug-14 18:45:37

When I was still working we had a patient who was a concert pianist he had very advanced dementia and was very difficult to handle but if he was sat at his piano he could still play beautifully and would calm down and play peacefully until his attention was taken elsewhere..
What a nice thing to do do janeainsworth

Mishap Fri 15-Aug-14 20:36:13

I worked on a dementia unit too and we had a lady who was just the same - she did not even understand that a chair was for sitting on, but if you parked her on one in front of a piano, all the classics would pour forth.

Sometimes I would sing questions to people who had little speech and encourage them to sing what they were trying to say - it often worked.

The Alzheimers Disease Soc has a project for singing with people with dementia. It is called "Singing for the Brain" which I think is a horrible title.

I sing at residential homes with two friends - people really enjoy it and join in even if they are quite severely dementing.