Please Santa, let me be the smiling lady that gets up and dances

friendslistentomusic2Some things the retirement communities do right. The keyboard musician that visits regularly is playing Christmas songs today. I hang around with my Mom and we sing along to the songs and I watch the joy that his music brings so the many residents grouped in the living room today. I can’t resist singing along, even though the general idea of keyboard music doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest.

A few weeks ago, an old friend of my Moms came and sat with her when the musician was visiting. It’s a nice way to pass the time with my Mom. She loves music and isn’t challenged to try to make small talk.

Each time I visit, I notice one of the other residents. She is always alone, well-dressed, and smiling. I’ve never seen her speak with anyone, but she gets up and dances when music is playing. As I sit and witness the many ladies that work at the community having fun dancing and inviting the residents to join them, this one is already busy dancing around to the music without a care in the world about who is watching. I’m a little jealous because I still feel a little self-conscious dancing.

As we head into the holiday, I do hope Santa will sprinkle some magic dust on me to give me the courage to age as gracefully as this woman is doing. Wished. 

The impact of music on someone with dementia video

This is part two to my previous post Music and Dementia. Kate Swaffer shared with me a video that I had not seen before entitled Alive Inside.

I hope to figure out how to get more music into my visits with my parents. This is worth 5 minutes of your time! Educated.

Music and Dementia

Music soothes the savage beast. For my parents, it engages their minds and brings forth happy memories.

I stopped by to visit my parents and I couldn’t find them at their retirement community. When I went to ask if someone saw them get in a cab, I was told “No, they are at the OctoberFest celebration.”

They had forgotten I was going to come by for a visit and were sitting at a table watching the band play  traditional OctoberFest songs. Growing up, my parents didn’t listen to much music unless they were playing it together on a piano. I still can see my dad’s hand-written notes on the dashboard of both car’s restricting radio use if my mom was in the car.

Half-way through the concert, my mom starts clapping and is singing along with one of the tunes. She then starts to talk about when they lived in Germany. Music is reported to improved the memory of those with dementia. It was a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

As I sat watching the band, I wondered what type of band would I be enjoying in my 80’s?  At 48, I still love electronic dance music and thanks to XM, it’s on in my car without fail. Humored.