My mom lives more than 160 miles from me. She is 94 with severe dementia.
When I go and stay with her (about once a month) I sing to her, old songs that she might recognize — “Over the Rainbow,” “My Favorite Things,” “Try to Remember,” “When the red red robin comes bob bob bobbin along…..” I have a below average singing voice, but my singing seems to calm her down.
Tonight, 160 miles away, she wouldn’t calm down, and my brother was at his wit’s end. So I started singing to her over the telephone, and it worked. Now I have to figure out how to record some of those songs and burn them on a disk or get them onto an mp3 player so that I can send them to her — a medley of old songs to ease the demented mind.
Hey, whatever works.
The power of music (and other arts) is remarkable. If I had to do it over again, I would have become an art therapist.
I use a simple recording software called RecordPad (that I believe was shareware as long as you don’t get the editing component) to make audio lectures for my class. I think burning a CD or relying on MP3 player would be the best bet in terms of your brother playing them for your mom, but I upload my audio files to Box.net – I pay a small fee ($5 or $10 per month, can’t remember, there might be a free version if you don’t need much space). Then anyone with the url and Real Player or Windows Media player can listen to them. I’ve tried many others (besides Box.net) and they were not as reliable for the price.
Thanks, Gina.I’m going to check all that out. Meanwhile, I did use my Microsoft LifeCam, which has an audio record function, to record separate songs and then I emailed the individual wma files to my brother. I was able to play each over Windows Media Player, so he should be able to that as well. But still going to try to made a disc.
I had a mother with dementia (she lived to be 100). It was not severe, but bad enough to have to put her in a locked up facility. It’s really hard, I know, to deal with that disease. I watch myself all the time for signs of it. I bet Mother would have liked it if I had sung to her. But I would have to have done it in a place I was sure nobody else could hear.