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Make Music Memories With Your Aging Loved One


February 22, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Aging Loved One,All Blog Posts,Caregiving,Family Caregiver,Library of Blogs, Articles & Videos



Are your visits with your aging parents, mom, dad or other aging loved one boring? Do you find yourself asking the same questions, hearing the same stories, and wondering if this is what it’s going to be like for you when you get old, a boring visit with your kids?

I’m here to say that this dynamic can be different and it’s up to you to change it. How? There are many ways to change the dynamic. Here’s just one.

Make music memories together. On your next visit with your parents or other aging loved one sing with them, not your favorite songs, their favorite songs. Sing songs with them that they know and love.

Yes, on your next visit make music memories together. See how many songs you can sing with your aging loved one. Maybe see how many songs you can sing that have the word “Love” in them. For me, I might start with the Stevie Wonder song, “I Just Called To Say I Love You.”

 

“I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care, I do
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart, of my heart, of my heart”

 

I should confess that I can’t carry a tune. I’m not being modest, I actually got kicked out of chorus in 5th grade. That’s how bad I am. Yet, I love to sing.

It’s not about whether you can carry a tune or not. In fact, it’s not about you at all. It’s about doing something with your aging loved one that they can do and something that might bring a smile to their face and maybe even put a little pep to their step.

Singing can be a great activity for you and your aging loved one with dementia too. You may find, quite surprisingly, that when you choose songs from their era they know all the words because many with dementia can still access that part of their brain. I remember visiting my grandmother in the nursing home. She had dementia and didn’t know who I was. I would visit her when I’d go home for Christmas. I remember visiting her one afternoon. I walked in and everyone was sitting around the dining room. There was someone playing Christmas carols on the piano. Everyone was singing along and my grandmother, to my surprise, was singing the Christmas carols too, in German in the most crystal clear angelic voice you’d ever want to hear. What a beautiful music memory I have from that visit!

And here’s the added bonus. You can have this same kind of visit even if you’re miles apart. If you’re a long distance family caregiver like I was, you can have a singing visit with your aging loved one by telephone, Skype, Facetime, or whatever technology you and your aging loved one use to communicate voice to voice between your face to face visits.

Make the next visit with your parents, mom, dad, or other aging loved one a sing-a-long and make your own music memories. Then, stop back and tell us about your experience and your aging loved one’s favorite love song.

Have fun singing!

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