Music: Food for the Soul

Discover how music therapy can bring peace, comfort, and unity to the lives of dementia patients and their caregivers. Learn about the benefits of music therapy and how it can be used as a treatment for dementia, as well as Catherine Frayne's personal story of using music to connect with her mother.

Music: Food for the Soul

By Catherine Frayne

In the hurried pace of our lives, we often forget the power of music to heal, to soothe, and to connect us with cherished memories. In this heartwarming tale, "Music: Food for the Soul," we join Catherine and her beloved Mommy on their weekly shopping trip, where the magic of music takes center stage. As the rain lashes against the windshield and the wipers squeak, Mommy's memory flickers with a treasured old song. Moved by the profound impact of the melody, Catherine embarks on a quest to retrieve the song from the past, igniting a journey of nostalgia and bonding. Through the power of music, their spirits intertwine, and a profound sense of unity and comfort fills the car. Join us on this enchanting ride as we discover the timeless significance of music—a timeless nourishment for the soul.

As we set off in the car for our weekly shopping trip, I notice Mommy humming a song to herself while gently tapping her fingers on her lap in rhythm. "Listen to this, Catherine, have you ever heard anything as nice?" she asks, before launching into the few lines she can recall from an old favorite. Her feeble voice reflects her age, but she clings to the cherished memories associated with the song.

‘Steal away, lets steal away, no reason left to stay. For me and you, lets start anew and darling steal away …. La lala, la la lala ’ and she trails off wistfully wishing she could remember the rest.

"Do you remember who sang it, Mommy?" I inquire. "Wasn't it The Furey Brothers and Davy Arthur?" She pauses for a moment and then nods in agreement. "That's right, isn't it?" she confirms.

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    Determined to relive these beautiful memories, I manage to locate the CD in an old music shop and have it ready for our next Friday shopping trip. As we head out, rain lashes against the windscreen, and the sky seems to mourn the arrival of November. The wipers squeak like mad, and the windows fog up quickly, but I can hardly concentrate on the road as Mommy bombards me with her usual rapid-fire questions. "Where are we going again? Did I bring an umbrella? Where is my handbag? Whose car is this?" Amidst the distractions, I gently remind her of the CD I bought.

    "Hey Mommy, sit back and listen to this," I say, rubbing her hand reassuringly before hitting the play button. The familiar melody of "Steal Away" fills the car, and Mommy puts her head back, finding solace in her treasured musical memories. The questions fade away, replaced by a deep sense of peace, calm, and unity between us.

    "Oh, wouldn't you stand in the snow listening to that, Catherine? It does something to me, it does—it's food for the soul," Mammy says with tears of happiness in her eyes. "You're right, Mommy. It's incredibly soothing to listen to as we drive along," I reply, feeling the warmth of the moment. "I could keep going forever, listening to that music," Mommy adds as I hit the repeat play button on the stereo, and we zoom off into the darkness, enveloped by the comforting tunes.

    As we near the end of 2014, I want to take this opportunity to wish all caregivers the happiness, peace, and comfort they deserve this Christmas. Being in a caregiving role unmistakably means that you were once cared for and loved as a child. Now, you have the privilege to return that loving care. So, sit back, crank up the music, hold your loved ones dear, and cherish every precious moment while you still have them by your side.

    In the symphony of life, Catherine and her Mommy have discovered the transformative power of music—a harmonious thread that weaves together their hearts and memories. As they journey through the car rides filled with nostalgic tunes, they realize that music is more than just a collection of sounds; it's a timeless nourishment for the soul. In the embrace of its enchanting melodies, they find solace, peace, and a profound connection that transcends the boundaries of age and time. As the year comes to an end and the holiday season surrounds them, they cherish each precious moment together, knowing that the gift of music and love will forever resonate in their hearts, creating a melody that will endure for generations to come.

    Don't miss Diane Carbo's podcast with Grace Meadows on the transformative power of music for dementia patients. Discover how music can bring comfort, connection, and joy to those with dementia, unlocking cherished memories and soothing their souls. It's a heartwarming discussion highlighting the magic of music in caregiving. Watch it now!

    Have a story about how you use music with your family member with dementia? Please share here? Help others realize that they are not alone. Submit Your Caregiver Story
    Have more questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Question section of the website. You will find a lot of different questions answered directly.

    Meet Catherine Frayne

    Stolen Delusions of Dementia

    Dementia and Music Therapy

    Coconut Oil as Treatment for Dementia, My Story