Working with the elderly, you learn to appreciate the things we take for granted. You also discover the most beautiful things that can bring a warmth to your soul and become imprinted on your heart.
In my experience, the saddest and scariest thing about aging is Alzheimer’s Disease. Working with these beautiful souls is one of my greatest pleasures and saddest moments as well as it is where I have learned the most and experienced beautiful moments.
There is one beautiful moment that stands out for me and that is when music transformed a silent, withdrawn and confused woman into a singing and responsive individual. The lovely lady I am talking about has had a severe stroke and has dementia and is in a long term care facility. In her past, she danced ballet in Europe and sang Opera in England but has not sang since her stroke.
I had bought a Side Walk Prophets CD and played for her and she began to attempt to sing along with the music, even attempting to change notes and levels while singing. This was amazing to watch her do and it was a beautiful sound.
Another awe inspiring moment was hearing this wonderful woman attempt to practice Operatic singing with and without music playing, even though it was sadly off key and words made no logical sense it was the most beautiful song.
Every day since then, she will sing her song to me and share her love of music with me while listening and aiming to any music we hear. It is heart warming as you can see parts of the Opera singer coming out of her and watch a smile form on her face when you ask “are you singing?”
I encourage everyone to spend a day with an elderly person because it will change your life for the better and you will never be the same. Our elderly are the greatest teachers and bravest warriors as they have survived so many trials and tribulations in their lifetime.
Take a moment, share your time, open your mind and listen not just with your eyes but with your heart.