Dear Editor: Thank you to Sister Constance Veit, l.s.p., for her ideas (Jan. 16) on using technology for older people. Using music and song is a wonderful way to reach seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Recently, my son, Jeff, and I visited my mom who has Alzheimer’s disease. We sang “Hello Dolly” to her, and then changed the lyrics to Hello Grandma while I danced, which put a big smile on her face and caused her to clap at the end of the song (something she never did before). Using her bottle of vitamins as a maraca may have helped. We then played a few hymns for her which she knew from her childhood.
“Amazing Grace” is one of her favorites. Then we sang “How Great Thou Art,” which we found on our phones. My son played guitar and we harmonized. We could tell that mom was truly happy, and the song reached her somewhere long ago and far away, deep in her heart. My son said: “Grandma, how great YOU are.”
To quote President Ronald Reagan (an Alzheimer’s patient): “Life is one grand sweet song, so start the music.”