She’s 90 Years Old With Severe Dementia. But Watch What Happens When She Puts on Headphones!

Socorro Kennedy, known as Miss Cora, is a 90-year-old North Texas woman. It’s hard to have a conversation with her, as she suffers from dementia. As WFAA-TV describes it, many times she sits quietly all day. But then there are her headphones.

That’s right, her headphones. See, when Miss Cora puts headphones on and some of her favorite oldies play, she transforms.

“She really comes alive whenever you put that music on. She comes alive from her toes to the top of her head,” Naomi Mathes, who works at the center where Miss Cora lives, told the station.

Miss Cora before the music plays. (Source: WFAA-TV screen shot)
Miss Cora before the music plays, staring blankly. (Source: WFAA-TV screen shot)
Miss Cora after the music comes on, transforming her into a tapping, clapping woman. (Source: WFAA-TV screen shot)
Miss Cora after the music comes on, transforming her into a tapping, clapping woman. (Source: WFAA-TV screen shot)

The music is chosen with the help of family members, who guide the caretakers regarding which songs Mis Cora responded to in the past.

“Music is one of the last things to leave that is connected with emotions and memories and is stored in multiple parts of the brain,” Mathes explained.

Just watch the transformation in the station’s video:

WFAA describes just how much the music has made a difference:

Listening to music stimulates Cora’s brain so much, she now responds to conversations. She even speaks full, recognizable words.

Although Cora wants more, Mathes said they have to limit her time with music or she will wear herself out.

Mathes says the ear phones are key. Blaring the music on a speaker comes with too many distractions and doesn’t have the same affect.

Mathes summed it up perfectly: “When you can no longer reach them with words, you can reach them with music.”

For more amazing stories about treating patients with music, you can see the trailer for the documentary “Alive Inside” that played at the Sundance Film Festival:

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