Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Magic of Music

It's been ages since Nana's played the piano. Since her fall in March, she's slowed down more than ever in both mind and body. I compensate by helping her with all the little things she used to do by herself. She no longer walks alone, even for short distances. She needs prompting to get ready in the morning once she's up, and Monday to Friday her trusty Personal Support Worker, Glenda happily helps her. She finds it more and more difficult to get all of her pills down, or even to take them all some days. It's nothing major as long as she has help.

Nana's advancing dementia means she's having more and more trouble remembering what day it is, how to read her watch and whether we've had lunch or not already. She's still pretty good with many of the faces in the photographs she loves to look at with Glenda and remembers most people's birthday's, especially those who've passed away already. The pictures we've taken more recently don't seem as familiar, which isn't unusual with dementia.

When Glenda stopped in front of the piano during her daily 'in-house' walks with Nana I had the urge to step in front of it to hide it from view. Glenda happily listened to Nana talk about how she used to play and even teach when she was younger. When Glenda urged Nana to sit down and play something, I cringed, afraid Nana might not be able to anymore.

I was impressed and relieved when the glorious sounds of Nana's familiar favorites rang out miraculously loud and clear. Nana's gift of music has not faded one little bit. She might not remember that she's played the same tune a few times over, but she still plays beautifully. Glenda has helped her rediscover something I'd almost assumed she'd lost. What a wonderful thing!

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