Tag Archives: memory

Some thoughts

A friend of mine worked with people who have dementia, and one time Susan and I went over and visited him over lunchtime. Lunch was like summer camp. A bunch of people who live together, come into a big room to share food, while my friend would lead all sorts of entertainment. Everyone was involved. He played his guitar and led people in song. At some point he played some swing, and Susan and I danced to that, much to the enjoyment of all (and quite a few got up and joined in). It was an incredibly happy environment. I know they were all struggling through hardships of dementia, but the silver lining was that many of the folks there were just living in the moment.

Then he invited one gentleman to sit down at the piano. The man needed some assistance with getting started. He sort of clumsily started finding his way around the keyboard… and then the next thing you knew, this guy was playing song after song. But here’s the thing. Our hero, the piano player, had no recollection that he had spent his career playing piano on a cruise ship. Instead, every day, he had to be reminded that he could even play piano at all. Yet, once he got going, it all flowed out.

Related article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/seniors-with-dementia-express-themselves-connect-with-others-in-drumming-circle/2013/06/19/a806f5f2-d842-11e2-a9f2-42ee3912ae0e_story.html?wprss=rss_national

So, I think today’s deep thought is that I think it’s far more important to get songs into our subconscious memory, because then we don’t have to think about them or consciously remember them. The  music will just flow out of us, like exhaling. So yet again… practice! So that you can just exist in the moment.