Recently I sent a friend of mine a BELLAGRAM singing telegram to cheer and lift up her spirits since she was suffering from flu symptoms. About a week later I ran into her at the park and found out that thankfully she had been feeling better and was on the mend. She told me how delighted she was to have received it and would I send her 91 year old mother Betty one to let her know she was thinking of her. Betty lives in an assisted living facility and suffers dementia. I realized what a wonderful opportunity this was to potentially trigger memories for Betty
Research suggests that listening to or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioral benefits for people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Musical memories are often preserved because key brain areas linked to musical memory are relatively undamaged by the disease.
This is what I love about music and why I do what I do. Music uplifts and heals and gives folks with Alzheimer's and dementia, some who might not otherwise talk, the ability to remember lyrics to a song. In Betty's case she is verbal, I just wanted to make the point about how powerful music can be. The documentary Alive Inside is a must see and a wonderful example that goes into this phenomenon.
So I quickly got to work and started learning the song my friend requested for her mom which was On The Sunny Side of the Street. I wasn't very familiar with the song so spent about a week really getting it in my bones so I could do it justice because if that's the one thing Betty was going to remember, is how the song was sung!
Here is the clip....
The best part about this whole story is the video Betty's care giver captured of her singing along. Also, Betty’s an artist, the painting behind her in the video is one of hers!
If I never send a singing telegram again I'll be fine knowing that I got to send this one to Betty.