The power of song is well-known. TheBlaze recently covered how a dementia patient transformed from someone who struggled to carry on a conversation to a toe-tapping, hand-clapping woman when her favorite oldies were turned on, and that same remarkable concept has transformed the lives of dozens of Alzheimer's and dementia patients in Minneapolis.
Once a week, the patients gather together and sing songs from their past as part of the Giving Voice Chorus. Whether it's the Beatles or Rodgers & Hammerstein, KARE-TV reports, catchy songs quickly become a gateway to better times.
"It's a time for them to remember who they were before the disease came," Anne Sterner, whose mother is in the choir, said. "They don't feel like they have Alzheimer's when they're singing."
Sterner's mother often has difficulty speaking, but Sterner said she has far fewer difficulties when in song.
"We know that music is stored in a part of the brain that's last affected by Alzheimer's disease," Mary Lenard, who founded the Giving Voice Chorus earlier this year with Marge Ostroushko, explained. "The emotions, the joy, the fun, the humor that came with singing when they were 18 or 24 or 40 comes back."
Patients are often accompanied by a family member or loved one. Jerry Parks, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's at just 56-years-old, says some of the "best times" he has with his wife now are at the choir.
"It's just been uplifting," he said. "It's wonderful."
More on the story via KARE-TV:
(H/T: USA Today)