Keeping us connected
My mother had dementia. In my book Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything I describe how the songs she had gaily sung throughout her life began to play an ever bigger part in how we looked after her.
The songs she knew, and that her children also knew through lifelong immersion – everything from the Inkspots to the Sound of Music, the Hallelujah Chorus to the ‘Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen’ – gradually became not just an excuse for a party but a conscious device to keep us connected to her and her to herself.
Harmonies filled the room
When she was frightened in the bath, she could be calmed with ‘It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow’. When she was downhearted and depressed, nothing produced a smile like ‘Ye cannae shove your granny off a bus’. Some of the trickiest toileting moments could be eased by a…
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