Music, Memories and Magic
Have you ever thought about the power of music?
Personally, I never used to. I just took music for granted. It was a simple staple in my life that was easily accessible and I tapped into it as I desired, which for me was most of the time. I spend a lot of time in my car and in my office and love to have music on in the background. At home, while relaxing or even doing chores, music fills the air.
It wasn’t until my Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s that I found my true appreciation for music. I now realize the magic it holds and memories it ignites or can create. As Alzheimer’s disease progressed, my Mothers’ ability to communicate declined, but her love of music seemed to stay in tack. In fact, I found it fascinating to watch her react to music when she could not engage other activities any more.
It was through this experience with mom that I realized how important music is to most of us. How it is ingrained in our bodies. How many times when you hear a song do you remember a specific time in your life? Songs capture our past, In an instant they can bring us back in time. These moments can invoke happiness or sadness along with a long list of other emotions. I can’t tell you how many times I hear a song and my eyes tear up from love that once was or a passing of a dear one… Other songs fill my heart with joy from an exceptionally fun period in my life.
When caring for ourselves or others, I highly recommend being conscience of the music you select. Look deep for the gentle signs of reaction from those you care for who can no longer use words to communicate. Here are a couple of beautiful example of how music brought joy to my mother, who at these times had difficultly speaking.
Even now in her end stages when we are lucky if she is able to say one word; Mom still enjoys her music. Watch closely her body’s reaction to the music – hands and feet moving, smiles, giggles, the glint in her eye.
I suggest you test this theory out with those you are caring for as well as yourself. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the results and will easily see how Music, Memories and Magic walk hand in hand. How we can use music to shift our modes and modes of others. It’s very interesting and simple to apply.
Please to visit the AARP Caregiving Resource Center for help and more information at aarp.org/caregiving.
Please not, Lori La Bey is a member of AARP’s blogger kitchen cabinet on caregiving issues. All opinions are my own.