I recently had the opportunity to play music for a senior facility. The group that they brought down for me to play for was what they call memory care. These are the people who either have dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other types of memory issues.
For this occasion, I chose to do songs that they loved and knew. From what they say, music is something that stays in the brain and memory. When people with these diseases hear a song that they know, it triggers in them, and sort of wakes them up for a bit.
There were elderly people there who were well into their afflictions, and some were just beginning to show signs of forgetfulness.
It was really sweet to watch as they all recalled the songs and sang along with me. But I think the most precious moment for me that day was with a lady in the front row. She had to have a caretaker sit beside her because she had a tendency to fall forward. For most of my playing her caregiver had to continue to prop her up.
The sweet part was at the end. I chose to end the set with the song Amazing Grace. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t know that song. As I was getting through the verses, I glanced up and saw that this elderly woman was smiling and very gently clapping her hands.
She knew the song. It was the only time that she was alert while I was there.
I can’t help but wonder if God was speaking to her at that moment.
Sending his ministering angels to bring healing – or comfort.
Only she will ever know.
But it was a precious sight that I’m so glad that I got to be a part of.