"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Soul music on the Alzheimer's wing

They we're rockin' out on the alzheimer's unit this a.m. Old hymns performed by black gospel artists were pouring out of the boom-box; one after another. The recreational therapy personnel were present trying to motivate and stimulate the alzheimer's crowd. Two or three of the people were mouthing/humming the words to the old hymns. Two or three ladies were actually rocking back and forth, mostly, in time to the rhythm. The aides, of course, were swaying to the music as they went about their duties. Most of the staff had a smile on their lips.

With the aged ones on the alzheimer's unit; there's generally a distinct lack of smiles. Their ability to comprehend humor or pleasure is the first loss in a long succession of mental and psychological losses. Inevitably they grow quieter and quieter. There is no turning the process around - at least at this time.

Alzheimer's disease is officially a terminal illness. But for this morning, the soul music sounds of classic black gospel lightened the mood on the Alzheimer's wing.

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