Music is a powerful tool that makes it a good part of therapy. It can touch people’s hearts and give a sense of nostalgia. When you hear a song from your childhood, you are transported back in time — you can easily remember what you felt during those years. For this reason, music is an essential therapy utilized for dementia patients. Experts call this type of therapy a musical intervention — which reduces agitation and helps patients communicate well with their caregivers.
Rebecca O’Brien has witnessed the power of music against dementia. It was an amazing experience for her as she watched her father happily jamming to his favorite Elvis song. Eddie O’Brien is a 74-year-old Alzheimer’s patient diagnosed with the illness three years ago. He showed symptoms of Alzheimer’s, such as forgetting names and getting lost on the way home. According to Rebecca, her father is also taking medications, but only music has made him energetic again. Eddie was able to listen to his favorite songs when Rebecca gave him headphones as a Father’s Day present.
“Then I think it was Father’s Day, I just bought him some headphones to see how he liked them, and he really took to them,” Rebecca shared. “I don’t think my mum was too pleased. She was trying to watch the TV, but my dad was just singing above it. He absolutely loved it.” Before Eddie was diagnosed with dementia, his loved ones knew how he loved music. He listens to a wide range of music genres and loves to dance while listening. Seeing her father enthusiastic about life again mended Rebecca’s broken heart. She had missed her dad, who listened to good music with her during car drives.
Eddie’s daughter shared a video of him enjoying a good Elvis hit while wearing his headphones. It’s like he hasn’t been diagnosed with a severe illness — he felt young again. Rebecca shared with Daily Mail UK that her father’s favorite Elvis song is “Suspicious Minds,” and that song made him tap his feet along with the beat. Music helped her family feel lighter, because what happened to Eddie took a toll on them. Before Eddie was diagnosed, Rebecca was already working with elderlies who are also dementia patients.
“I work with vulnerable adults, and a lot of them are elderly and do have Alzheimer’s and dementia, so I do know some of the signs and symptoms. And there are days when the family does struggle because he repeats himself. He forgets everything,” she said. “But in general, he’s just really happy, and it’s lovely to be around him because he’s just so happy, and he makes me happy – and that’s all I focus on.” Music really had one job and accomplished it most successfully. The wondrous art form did not just bring Eddie back to life but also lightened the heavy weight on his family’s heart.Whizzco