Time to Talk
Dementia and music
Speaking with K our group member of the MOM Project Mental Health Awareness Real Talk Facebook group, she tells of how support was vital when experiencing a decline in her mental health.
K’s input is valued, sharing healthy coping skills to the group to aid recovery and managing depression and promoting positivity within the group including raising awareness.
The group was designed for sharing real-life difficulties, demonstrating the way to tackle depression and overcoming difficult emotions, understanding the triggers of one’s thought process and relating to everyday life including illness and situations not to mention offering support to one another.
Recognition for the hard work they do and dedication, I would like to give thanks to the caregiver at Turning Point who gives support and compassion because of their own lived experience, giving the ability to help someone else recover .”Thanks for Support you gave K”
Life journeys demonstrate life works better with support and it is vital to support somebody when they are in feeling vulnerable, K gives great tips and likes a little singing and tells the odd poem, she also loves posting visually with a positive message to the group, this is gladly appreciated and welcomed, there is always someone who will take something from our educational talks,this is proven with visual feedback.
It was an honour whilst speaking with K that she allowed me to talk to her father who has Dementia and I wanted to share with her something that I learned so I suggested to put her father on loudspeaker so he can meet a new person by vocal connection just for today, to say hello and have conversations from one stranger to another, with my understanding we share no past memories together so the interaction was a pleasure, this moment was living in the here and now and brings a new shared memory.
Placing her father on the phone, I asked how he was doing and what he’d been up to today, treating him as if I’d never met him, as a person rather than treating him with a disability. I shared with K’s father a brief conversation and shared a simple song on a loudspeaker, a song for them both that Karen sang to me to demonstrate the song her father liked. I found the song on youtube and played it on loudspeaker for K and her father to listen to, K said as she sat there with her father, “Never have I seen him interact like this in long.”
Maybe it was a simple telephone call and a new voice that got a positive response and even more so by putting on his favourite song. I suggested playing a song for him which he likes more often, taking him back to a happy response, “maybe find something you used to sing together”
My thought process is a proven fact we all react to good and bad experiences with emotion. If you like dancing you most probably like music which stimulates the mind, and if you like the music you’re more likely to go back to a place in time where you first heard the song that had meaning to you.
So the advice was to place a trigger to the memory in the shape of music and continue singing together making priceless moments of joy together.
K’s father who suffers from dementia was able to recognise the song and reacted in a positive manner, singing and moving his arms to the rhythm of the song. I exchanged my tip. ” Music therapy is good for the soul it can lift you out of a mood”
“Our memories are all we have, life is always about the here and now, new memories, new experiences and new reactions, forward-thinking”
Music can touch a memory of everyone. No one but ourselves can free our minds, every action gives a reaction and we base life on feelings, of emotion, with the interaction being human nature. As we know all too well, isolation can lead to a decline in physical and mental health. Loneliness can affect your mental and emotional health as well as your physical well being. Without enough social interaction, you may be at risk of a cognitive decline.
“Thank you for your time, keep playing the music it seems to gets a great response from your father, keep talking and continue to make new memories together as father and daughter and continue conversations with new people”.
On this occasion, K’s father displayed a reaction to memory back to happiness and whatever he was thinking about and what made him happy we will not understand unless he shares the answer to that question. So if you haven’t asked this question it is an open question a good conversation starter.
What are your thoughts relating to the song “This is the day”?
It was great to find a happy moment in the day, brilliant response and a positive moment that brought a smile to all our faces, that day, another priceless memory made and all because time was given to talk.
Time is never guaranteed so enjoy the moment and make as many new memories as possible. A proven point “your mind is powerful and can do amazingly wonderful things. You’re the only one who owns your mind, it’s the one thing nobody can take from you, the beauty of your own mind is that nobody can read it. The art of communication is understanding how to communicate”
“Hi how are you”