Monday, September 14, 2015
The last refuge of biography in dementia is where musical memory is stored. You are what you have heard, danced to, made love to and sung. The vinyl, the CDs and tapes, the pirate radio stations, the downloads, the shuffles of your chosen greatest hits. Remember this. Document it. For when you are apparently lost to dementia, it is the one thing that will keep your self alive. The brilliant film, “Alive Inside” shows wonderful old people, having not communicated – sometimes for years, faces blank, hands wringing, wheelchair bound, being gently strapped into headphones. The effect! With IPods playing tunes from their histories, their faces light up, their hands dance, their feet tap. It is breathtaking. Then their eyes suddenly clear talk and they talk coherently. Even if you never watch the documentary, remember that this is how you can open a channel of life and light to someone with dementia. One day it could be you.