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Music Therapy and Alzheimer's Disease

Even in the Late Stages of Alzheimer's disease when your loved one doesn't seem to know you, it is still possible to make a meaningful connection.

Even in the Late Stages of Alzheimer's disease when your loved one doesn't seem to know you, it is still possible to make a meaningful connection. Mercifully, the part of the brain that deals with music is largely unaffected by Alzheimer's.

I am reminded of a story from a man recalling his trip to Disney World with his marching band in high school. He briefly visited his grandparents at their retirement community near Disney while he was there, excitingly telling them about marching in the Christmas parade with Mickey Mouse.

As he sat there talking in the sitting room in the common area, his grandmother just smiled and nodded.  She was well along into Alzheimer's and grandpa explained she just didn't communicate anymore.

Before it was time to leave, grandpa took him to go see their little apartment. He saw grandma's organ, which grandpa mentioned she hadn't been able to play in years. When he asked grandma to play him a song, grandpa just looked with a pained expression on his face.

Suddenly grandma walked over to the organ,  sat down and began to play 'It's a Small World" - the Disney song...

Sometimes music is the only window left to your loved one, and it is precious.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Angie Kopshy November 12, 2012 at 05:56 AM
I love that you shared this story. I experience the power of music upon the brain on a regular basis with my work, but I never tire of the light that sparks in the eyes of a client when music brings him or her to life.
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