Small Things, Big Difference

Our Dementia Care team were working with new resident 74-year-old Antonino to document his life story and find out unique things about him. Through conversation with Antonino they learned that he was interested in music.  They also noticed that he seemed particularly animated when he watched musical performances on television.

When they talked to Antonino’s family about his reactions to music, his family mentioned that he enjoyed singing opera and provided a YouTube clip of a performance that he had recorded from the past.  One morning the team played his clip to him on the television at low volume and asked Antonino if he would like to sing-a-long.   The minutes that followed were simply breathtaking.  Watch the video of the first time the team heard him sing here.

(Apologies for the low-quality video, this performance was unexpected! Antonino is sitting in the middle of the lounge singing).

Antonino demonstrated that music awakens a part of the brain not impacted by dementia and evokes responses, such as singing and movement, and brief moments of reconnection.

Said Dementia Care Manager Steve Flanagan – “Antonino’s voice was pure and powerful and gave us goose bumps.  Uncovering the things that give residents living with dementia moments of joy and clarity is so important.   This knowledge has helped us to build rapport with Antonino and gives us tools to engage with him and reassure him when he needs support.”

Life stories are a great way for residents, staff and families to connect. These snippets of information are good conversation starters, a way of discovering common interests and help with providing care on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.  Watch Antonino connecting through an impromptu performance last Friday.

Moran Aged Care are organising many new and exciting projects around the theme of ‘Small Things, Big Difference‘ as part of Dementia Awareness month. If you would like to know more about our Dementia Care Discovery program or take a tour of any of our homes, contact 1300 544 944.

For more information about the power of music read more here.

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